A chemical strategy to control the shape of oxide nanoparticles
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A new strategy, epoxide-assisted precipitation route presented in this work, allows the shape control synthesis of Co3O4 nanoparticles. The shape of the nanoparticles is determined by the nature of the precursor cobalt salts (Co(NO3)2 · 6H2O, CoCl2 · 6H2O) used for the preparation of the particles. The different reaction dynamics of the two salts in ethanolic and aqueous solutions with propylene oxide result in precursor particles with different structures, which lead to the formation of oxide nanoparticles with different shapes during the heat treatment. Spherical particles of about 20 nm are obtained from the ethanolic solution of Co(NO3)2 · 6H2O; cubic-shaped particles of about 30 nm can be prepared from the ethanolic solution of CoCl2 · 6H2O; whereas platelet-like particles of more than 100 nm are synthesized from the aqueous solution of the mixture of Co(NO3)2 · 6H2O and CoCl2 · 6H2O.