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Arc Discharge Synthesis and Photoluminescence of 3D Feather-like AlN Nanostructures

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ABSTRACT

A complex three-dimensional (3D) feather-like AlN nanostructure was synthesized by a direct reaction of high-purity Al granules with nitrogen using an arc discharge method. By adjusting the discharge time, a coral-like nanostructure, which evolved from the feather-like nanostructure, has also been observed. The novel 3D feather-like AlN nanostructure has a hierarchical dendritic structure, which means that the angle between the trunk stem and its branch is always about 30° in any part of the structure. The fine branches on the surface of the feather-like nanostructure have shown a uniform fish scale shape, which are about 100 nm long, 10 nm thick and several tens of nanometers in width. An alternate growth model has been proposed to explain the novel nanostructure. The spectrum of the feather-like products shows a strong blue emission band centered at 438 nm (2.84 eV), which indicates their potential application as blue light-emitting diodes.

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a, b TEM images of the feather-like nanostructures; c typical EDS pattern of the TEM samples.
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Figure 4: a, b TEM images of the feather-like nanostructures; c typical EDS pattern of the TEM samples.

Mentions: When keeping the current 180 A and decreasing time to 30 s, an amazing self-assembled feather-like nanostructure was prepared as shown in Figure 3. The AlN "feathers" are considered as a hierarchical dendritic nanostructure. Figure 3a is an overall SEM image of feather-like nanostructures with sizes ranging from 2 to 20 μm, which are smaller than the coral-like products. Figure 3b and 3c are typical SEM images of complete feathers in different scales, both of which show a dendritic structure. It implies that the feather-like nanostructure will be transformed to coral-like products by extending the discharge time. Feathers of different sizes observed in the experiments might be at different growth stages. Figure 3d and 3e are high-magnification SEM images, which show more details of feather-like nanostructure. The surface of the feather has a fish scale structure. The scale-shaped fine branches are almost uniform, which are about 100 nm long, 10 nm thick and several tens of nanometers in width. However, there might be more fine structures in the "scale" as shown in Figure 3e. High-resolution TEM was employed to investigate the novel nanostructure, but it was very difficult to get a clear HRTEM image and the corresponding selected area electron diffraction (SAED) pattern of the special nanostructures for the branches cross over each other in 3D space. Figure 4a and 4b are the most clear-cut TEM images we got in the experiments, which supply a better view of the internal details of the feather-like nanostructure. It appears that the feather is constituted of trunk and oblique branches. The trunk is nearly straight, and the angle between the trunk and its branches is about 30°, which is consistent with the SEM results (α marked in Figure 3c, d). The fine branches with a thickness less than 10 nm are separated by void. EDS analyses were carried out on numerous samples and showed that the ratio between Al and N atoms is nearly 1, which ensure that the composition of the feather nanostructure is AlN. Figure 4c is a typical EDS pattern of the TEM samples, and very low levels of oxygen have also been detected in our experiments.


Arc Discharge Synthesis and Photoluminescence of 3D Feather-like AlN Nanostructures
a, b TEM images of the feather-like nanostructures; c typical EDS pattern of the TEM samples.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3211165&req=5

Figure 4: a, b TEM images of the feather-like nanostructures; c typical EDS pattern of the TEM samples.
Mentions: When keeping the current 180 A and decreasing time to 30 s, an amazing self-assembled feather-like nanostructure was prepared as shown in Figure 3. The AlN "feathers" are considered as a hierarchical dendritic nanostructure. Figure 3a is an overall SEM image of feather-like nanostructures with sizes ranging from 2 to 20 μm, which are smaller than the coral-like products. Figure 3b and 3c are typical SEM images of complete feathers in different scales, both of which show a dendritic structure. It implies that the feather-like nanostructure will be transformed to coral-like products by extending the discharge time. Feathers of different sizes observed in the experiments might be at different growth stages. Figure 3d and 3e are high-magnification SEM images, which show more details of feather-like nanostructure. The surface of the feather has a fish scale structure. The scale-shaped fine branches are almost uniform, which are about 100 nm long, 10 nm thick and several tens of nanometers in width. However, there might be more fine structures in the "scale" as shown in Figure 3e. High-resolution TEM was employed to investigate the novel nanostructure, but it was very difficult to get a clear HRTEM image and the corresponding selected area electron diffraction (SAED) pattern of the special nanostructures for the branches cross over each other in 3D space. Figure 4a and 4b are the most clear-cut TEM images we got in the experiments, which supply a better view of the internal details of the feather-like nanostructure. It appears that the feather is constituted of trunk and oblique branches. The trunk is nearly straight, and the angle between the trunk and its branches is about 30°, which is consistent with the SEM results (α marked in Figure 3c, d). The fine branches with a thickness less than 10 nm are separated by void. EDS analyses were carried out on numerous samples and showed that the ratio between Al and N atoms is nearly 1, which ensure that the composition of the feather nanostructure is AlN. Figure 4c is a typical EDS pattern of the TEM samples, and very low levels of oxygen have also been detected in our experiments.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

ABSTRACT

A complex three-dimensional (3D) feather-like AlN nanostructure was synthesized by a direct reaction of high-purity Al granules with nitrogen using an arc discharge method. By adjusting the discharge time, a coral-like nanostructure, which evolved from the feather-like nanostructure, has also been observed. The novel 3D feather-like AlN nanostructure has a hierarchical dendritic structure, which means that the angle between the trunk stem and its branch is always about 30° in any part of the structure. The fine branches on the surface of the feather-like nanostructure have shown a uniform fish scale shape, which are about 100 nm long, 10 nm thick and several tens of nanometers in width. An alternate growth model has been proposed to explain the novel nanostructure. The spectrum of the feather-like products shows a strong blue emission band centered at 438 nm (2.84 eV), which indicates their potential application as blue light-emitting diodes.

No MeSH data available.