Flame Synthesis and Doping of Nanowires

Future energy conversion and storage technologies will rely on nanostructured materials such as one-dimensional (1-D) nanowires to enhance their functionality. However, current synthesis methods for nanowires are unable to meet the requirements of scalability, material quality and versatility for new, large-scale applications. To tackle these issues, our group develops novel flame synthesis methods that offer rapid, scalable, controllable growth of high quality metal oxide nanowires with unique morphologies and properties. Not only can our flame synthesis methods grow aligned arrays of nanowires and related nanostructures, they can also dope or decorate the nanowires to add additional functionalities to the materials. Materials we have grown by these methods show promise for catalytic combustion, photoelectrochemical water splitting, and other important applications.

Flame synthesis of metal oxide nanowires using atmospheric flat flame. Transition metal oxides are synthesized with micrometer-per-minute growth rates on diverse, technologically important and even delicate substrates, with high material quality.

Selected Publications

  1. "Rapid Catalyst-Free Flame Synthesis of Dense, Aligned a-Fe2O3 Nanoflakes and CuO Nanoneedle Arrays", P. M. Rao, and X. L. Zheng, Nano Lett. 9, 3001-3006 (2009). http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/nl901426t
  2. "Morphology-Controlled Flame Synthesis of Single, Branched, and Flower-like α-MoO3 Nanobelt Arrays", L. Cai, P.M. Rao, and X. L. Zheng, Nano Lett., 11, 872-877 (2011). http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl104270u
  3. "Sol-Flame Synthesis: A General Strategy To Decorate Nanowires with Metal Oxide/Noble Metal Nanoparticles", Y. Feng*, I. S. Cho*, P. M. Rao, L. Cai, and X. L. Zheng, Nano Lett., in press (2012). *equal contribution http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/nl300060b