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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2019 Feb 11;58(7):2055-2059. doi: 10.1002/anie.201812911. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

A Metastable Crystalline Phase in Two-Dimensional Metallic Oxide Nanoplates.

Liu C1,2, Zheng L3, Song Q1,2, Xue Z1,2, Huang C1, Liu L1, Qiao X1,2, Li X1,2, Liu K1,2, Wang T1,2.

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Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Living Biosystems, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS), Beijing, 100190, China.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China.
Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, 100049, China.


A simple method was adopted in which ultrathin cerium oxide nanoplates (<1.4 nm) were synthesized to increase the surface atomic content, allowing transformation from a face-centered cubic (fcc) phase to a body-centered tetragonal (bct) phase. Three types of cerium oxide nanoparticles of different thicknesses (1.2 nm ultrathin nanoplates, 2.2 nm nanoplates, and 5.4 nm nanocubes) were examined using transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The metastable bct phase was observed only in ultrathin nanoplates. Thermodynamic energy analysis confirmed that the surface energy of the ultrathin nanoplates is the cause of the remarkable stabilization of the metastable bct phase. The mechanism of surface energy regulation can be expanded to other metallic oxides, thus providing a new means for manipulating and stabilizing novel materials under ambient conditions that otherwise would not be recovered.


metal oxide nanoparticles; metastable phases; surface unsaturated coordination ratio; thickness; ultrathin nanoplates


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