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Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Dec 19;91(25):256103. Epub 2003 Dec 19.

Formation mechanism of H2Ti3O7 nanotubes.

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1
Department of Electronics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.

Abstract

Formation mechanism of H2Ti3O7 nanotubes by single-step reaction of crystalline TiO2 and NaOH has been investigated via transmission electron microscopy examinations of series specimens with different reaction times and extensive ab initio calculations. It was found that the growth mechanism includes several steps. Crystalline TiO2 reacts with NaOH, forming a highly disordered phase, which recrystallized into some H2Ti3O7 thin plates. H-deficiency on the top surface leads to an asymmetrical environment for the surface Ti3O2-7 layer. The calculations of the surface tension, elastic strain energy, interlayer coupling energy, and Coulomb force indicated that the asymmetrical environment is the principal driving force of the cleavage of the single sheets of H2Ti3O7 from the plates and the formation of the multiwall spiral nanotubes.

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