Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 43, Issue 22, pp 7066–7072 | Cite as

Characterization and reactivity of chromia nanoparticles prepared by urea forced hydrolysis

  • Heather J. Gulley-Stahl
  • Whitney L. Schmidt
  • Heather A. BullenEmail author


Chromia (Cr2O3) nanoparticles were prepared by urea forced hydrolysis in the presence of chromium (III) nitrate using NaCl as a precipitating agent. The size, distribution, and purity of the particles were evaluated. The necessity of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as a surfactant to prevent aggregation was also investigated. In the presence of PVP, non-aggregated spherical-like nanoparticles (3 ± 1 nm) were formed, whereas in the absence of PVP, spherical-like weakly agglomerated nanoparticles (85 ± 16 nm) comprised of 10 nm nanoparticle subunits were produced, creating a large surface area. The as-formed hydrated Cr2O3 nanoparticles were amorphous, although they could be easily converted into crystalline form by heating to 400 °C for 1 h, with minimal particle aggregation and size reduction. Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy indicated that preparation methods (surfactant and precipitating agent) influence surface reactivity of the nanoparticles to catechol.


Catechol Na2SO4 Narrow Size Distribution Chromium Oxide Atomic Force Microscopy Analysis 



This project was funded by the Merck Institute for Science Education, Kentucky NSF EPSCoR, Northern Kentucky University Center for Integrated Natural Science and Mathematics, NKU Greaves Endowment, and the NKU Research Foundation. The work was also supported in part by the National Science Foundation Instrument for Materials Research award (DMR-0526686) and Major Research Instrumentation award (EAR-0520921).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather J. Gulley-Stahl
    • 1
  • Whitney L. Schmidt
    • 1
  • Heather A. Bullen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryNorthern Kentucky UniversityHighland HeightsUSA

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