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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2011 Apr;3(4):1093-100. doi: 10.1021/am1012276. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

Mechanisms of combustion synthesis and magnetic response of high-surface-area hexaboride compounds.

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  • 1Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering, Alfred University, 2 Pine Street, Alfred, New York 14802, USA.


We present an analysis of the combustion synthesis mechanisms for the preparation of hexaboride materials using three compounds as model systems: EuB(6), YbB(6), and YB(6). These three hexaborides were chosen because of the differences in ionic radii between Eu(3+), Yb(3+), and Y(3+), which is a factor in their stability. The powders were prepared using metal nitrates, carbohydrazide, and two different boron precursor powders. The resulting materials were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, which showed that combustion synthesis is effective for the synthesis of EuB(6), since the Eu(3+) ion has an ionic radius greater than ∼1 Å. The synthesis of YbB(6) and YB(6) is not as effective because of the small size of the Yb(3+) and Y(3+) ions, making the hexaborides of these metals less stable and resulting in the synthesis of borates due to the presence of oxygen during the combustion process. Scanning electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering of the EuB(6) powders shows that the particle size of the hexaboride product is dependent on the particle size of the boron precursor. The magnetic susceptibility of our EuB(6) powders manifests irreversible behavior at low applied fields, which disappears at higher fields. This behavior can be attributed to the increase in size and number of magnetic polarons with increasing magnetic field.

© 2011 American Chemical Society

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