- Research article
- Open Access
Facile solution-phase synthesis of γ-Mn3O4hierarchical structures
© Wu et al 2007
- Received: 04 January 2007
- Accepted: 17 March 2007
- Published: 17 March 2007
A lot of effort has been focused on the integration of nanorods/nanowire as building blocks into three-dimensional (3D) complex superstructures. But, the development of simple and effective methods for creating novel assemblies of self-supported patterns of hierarchical architectures to designed materials using a suitable chemical method is important to technology and remains an attractive, but elusive goal.
The hierarchical structure of Mn3O4 with radiated spherulitic nanorods was prepared via a simple solution-based coordinated route in the presence of macrocycle polyamine, hexamethyl-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradeca-4,11-diene (CT) with the assistance of thiourea as an additive.
This approach opens a new and facile route for the morphogenesis of Mn3O4 material and it might be extended as a novel synthetic method for the synthesis of other inorganic semiconducting nanomaterials such as metal chalcogenide semiconductors with novel morphology and complex form, since it has been shown that thiourea can be used as an effective additive and the number of such water-soluble macrocyclic polyamines also makes it possible to provide various kinds of ligands for different metals in homogeneous water system.
- Electron Spin Resonance
- Hollow Sphere
Recently, a lot of effort has been focused on the integration of nanorods/nanowire as building blocks into three-dimensional (3D) complex superstructures. There are a variety of methods for different materials to construct 3D superstructures, among which hierarchical α-MnO2, ZnO, CaCO3 nanostructures, penniform BaWO4 nanostructures and dandelion-like CuO nanostructures have been successfully prepared [1–5]. These results not only provide feasible ways to assemble 1D nanostructures for future microscale functional devices but also offer opportunities to explore their novel collective properties.
Considerable research has focused on trimanganese tetroxide due to its catalytic and soft magnetic properties in recent years. It has been used as a catalyst for several processes, e.g., the oxidation of methane and carbon monoxide [6, 7], the decomposition of nitrogenoxides , the selective reduction of nitrobenzene , and the catalytic combustion of organic compounds at temperatures of 373–773 K . Mn3O4 is often synthesized by the high-temperature calcinations of manganese powders or manganese oxides with a higher valence of manganese, hydroxides, and hydroxyoxides, or oxysalts of manganese [11–14]. Using carbonaceous polysaccharide microspheres as templates, Mn3O4 hollow spheres were also prepared . Other solution-based methods based on the oxidation of the Mn(II) compound or the reduction of KMnO4 have also been employed to prepare Mn3O4 nanoparticles or nanorods [16–26]. Colloidal Mn3O4 monodisperse nanoparticles or nanorods were also prepared from thermal decomposition of precursor [Mn(acac)]2 (acac = acetylacetonate) in oleylamine, thermolysis of Mn(HCOO)2 in oleylamine, or thermally induced crystal growth processes from MnCl2 in oleic acid and oleylamine under argon atmosphere [27–29]. The development of simple and effective methods for creating novel assemblies of self-supported patterns of hierarchical architectures to designed materials using a suitable chemical method is important to technology and remains an attractive, but elusive goal.
Macrocyclic polyamine, a kind of cyclic ligand that can completely enclose metal ions, is usually of interest to chemists from a synthetic viewpoint or for its structure and coordination with metallic ions. Considering the strong coordination ability of macrocyclic polyamines with many metallic ions, the number of such compounds and their convenience for large-scale production, which may be applied to control the release of metallic ions at elevated temperature that are propitious to building complex architectures of inorganic crystals, we successfully designed and synthesized β-Ni(OH)2 flower-like pattern using hexamethyl-1,4,8,11-tetra-azacyclotetradeca-4,11-diene (CT), in a water system . This was the first report on the construction of inorganic nanomaterials with macrocycle polyamines. This success led us to use a macrocyclic polyamine to direct the growth of other inorganic crystals with novel morphologies and architectures. However, a recent study convinced us that thiourea could be used as an additive to control the morphology of the inorganic material . The addition of thiourea in the hydrolysis of K2SnO3·3H2O in an ethanol-H2O mixed solvent system resulted in nearly 100% hollow SnO2 spheres with increased product yield and morphological yield compared with that of the absence of thiourea, which is very different from the commonly accepted view that thiourea is a mild sulfur source. This interesting effect of thiourea inspired us to synthesize other metal oxides with complex morphologies using thiourea as an additive. It should be pointed out that the concentration ratio of the additive thiourea and of K2SnO3·3H2O was about 7:1 in the above-mentioned literature (with 0.1 M thiourea and 15 mM K2SnO3·3H2O, respectively). To generalize the morphological control of thiourea on complex morphogenesis of metal oxides, herein, we added thiourea in the synthesis of Mn3O4 hierarchical structure via a simple solution-based coordinated route in the presence of CT, and found that low dose of thiourea also has an important effect on the morphological control. A new example for the morphogenesis of hierarchical structure of Mn3O4 with radiated spherulitic nanorods in the presence of CT with the assistance of thiourea as an additive will be demonstrated in this paper. The products display an elegant morphology resembling a thorny sphere, which is rarely reported for Mn3O4, providing us another opportunity for exploring the properties dependent on their morphologies.
Figure 3 shows Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrum of the as-prepared γ-Mn3O4 products, displaying a notable resemblance to those of Mn3O4 obtained in previous studies [32, 12]. In the region from 650 to 500 cm-1 of the observed spectrum, two absorption peaks were observed at 609 and 503 cm-1, which may be associated with the coupling modes between the Mn-O stretching modes of tetrahedral and octahedral sites. In the region from 500 to 400 cm-1, the absorption peak at 430 cm-1 was assigned as the band-stretching mode of the octahedral sites; the displacement of the Mn2+ ions in tetrahedral sites was negligible. Therefore, the FTIR spectra further confirm the formation of Mn3O4 products.
The possible chemical reaction in the solution can be described as follows. At the beginning of reaction, Mn2+ cations were released slowly from the complex of Mn2+-CT at elevated temperature, that is to say, on this alkalescent and heating condition, the Mn(CT)2+ is unstable and the following reactions occur:
Mn(CT)2+ → Mn2++CT
6Mn2++O2+12OH- → 2Mn3O4+6H2O
It can be reasonably assumed that the release of S2- ions from the decomposition of thiourea in the initial reaction stage remarkably affects the nucleation and subsequently growth processes on γ-Mn3O4 products. This is a competitive reaction between the formation of MnS and Mn3O4 at elevated temperature in our reaction system and the formation of Mn3O4 had larger tendency than that of MnS in the presence of abundant alkalescent macrocyclic polyamine. However, the presence of S2- anions decreased the formation and growth speed of Mn3O4 seeds, which was in favor of the formation of uniform hierarchical products. By contrast, the addition of urea quickened the hydrolyzation of Mn2+ that sped up the nucleation and growth process of Mn3O4, resulting in irregular particles. The slow formation and growth of Mn3O4 in competition with S2- ions at the expense of destroying the coordination between Mn2+ and CT was favorable for the formation of hierarchical structure. Here, the coordination of CT with Mn2+ and subsequent absorption of CT on Mn3O4 seeds cannot be overlooked on the morphology formation of the product. Being a cyclic ligand that can completely enclose metal ions, it is well known that tetradentate macrocyclic ligands coordinate in a square planar fashion, which significantly affects the growth of Mn3O4 hierarchical structure. As mentioned above, Mn3O4 seeds gradually formed in competition with S2- ions at the expense of destroying the coordination between Mn2+ and CT, in the subsequent growth step, since the release of S2- ions reduced the growth speed of the product, the role of CT gradually became dominant. The coordination of tetradentate macrocyclic ligands in a square planar fashion and subsequent selective absorption on Mn3O4 seeds led to the growth of the particles in an oriented direction, thus forming the final hierarchical structure.
It is easily supposed that macrocycle polyamine metal complexes control the release speed of Mn2+ ions and subsequently affect the nucleation and growth process of the product together with thiourea. At elevated temperature, S2- anions were also released from the decomposition of CS(NH2)2, however, MnS was not formed in the existence of abundant alkalescent macrocycle polyamine. As an additive, thiourea played an important role on the shape control of γ-Mn3O4, which still needed more detailed and systematic work to provide evidence to make clear the precise functions of thoiurea in the hierarchical Mn3O4 materials. However, the synergistic effect of macrocycle polyamine and thiourea on the shape control of γ-Mn3O4 nanostructures was proved.
In conclusion, γ-Mn3O4 hierarchical nanostructures composed of radiated spherulitic nanorods, core-shell and hollow spheres have been successfully prepared in high yield using a macrocycle polyamine as metal ion ligand and alkalescent source with the assistance of thiourea as an additive in a water system. This approach opens a new and facile route for the morphogenesis of Mn3O4 material and it might be extended as a novel synthetic method for the synthesis of other inorganic semiconducting nanomaterials such as metal chalcogenide semiconductors with novel morphology and complex form, since it has been shown that thiourea can be used as an effective additive and the number of such water-soluble macrocyclic polyamines also makes it possible to provide various kinds of ligands for different metals in homogeneous water system.
All chemicals were analytic grade purity and used as received without further purification. The macrocyclic polyamine, hexamethyl-1,4,8,11-tetra- azacyclotetradeca-4,11-diene (CT) was synthesized using methanol, ethylene diamine anhydrous, hydrobromic acid and acetone as reactants according to the literature . Then, in a typical synthesis, 0.084 g MnSO4·H2O was put in a beaker, and 40 mL distilled water was added, then 5.0 g CT was added into the beaker under stirring. Finally, 0.040 g CS(NH2)2 was added. The mixture was stirred for a further 15 minutes, then the transparent solution was put in a 50 mL Teflon-sealed autoclave and maintained at 210°C for 6 h. The brown fluffy product floating on the solution was collected by centrifugation of the mixture, washed three times with distilled water and ethanol, and finally dried in a vacuum at 50°C for 10 h.
The structure of the samples obtained was characterized with the XRD pattern, which was recorded on a Rigaku Dmax diffraction system using a Cu Kα source (λ = 1.54187 Å). The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images were taken with a JEOL-JSM-6700F field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM, 15 kV). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images and the corresponding selected area electron diffraction (SAED) patterns were obtained with Hitachi 800 system at 200 kV. The Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic study was carried out with a MAGNA-IR 750 (Nicolet Instrument Co.) at room temperature with the sample in a KBr medium. The electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrum was recorded using a Bruker model ER-200D-SRC with the microwave frequency of 9.067 GHz at room temperature.
This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 20621061) and the state key project of fundamental research for nanomaterials and nanostructures (2005CB623601).
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