Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids

Effect of hydrocarbons on the morphology of synthesized niobium carbide nanoparticles.

PMID 20809601


Niobium carbide nanoparticles were synthesized by flowing methane, ethylene, or acetylene gas through a plasma generated from an arc discharge between two niobium electrodes. Varying methane, ethylene, and acetylene concentrations were employed in the studies to investigate their effects on niobium carbide nanoparticle morphology. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and selected area diffraction pattern (SADP) were used to investigate the synthesized NbC nanoparticles, whereupon it was found that these nanoparticles adopt cubic morphology with methane gas, a mixture of cubes and cuboctahedron morphology with ethylene gas, and solely a cuboctahedron morphology with acetylene gas. The change in particle morphology might be attributed to either the ethylene and acetylene free radicals or the increase in carbon concentration effecting the relative growth rates of the {111} and {100} facets on a NbC seed crystal.