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Synthesis of nitrogen-doped ZnO nanocrystallites with one-dimensional structure and their catalytic activity for ammonium perchlorate decomposition


In this study, nitrogen-doped ZnO (N-doped ZnO) nanocrystallites with a one-dimensional structure were synthesized successfully via an advanced wet chemical technique, and their microstructures were characterized by SEM, HRTEM, XRD, and XPS. The catalytic performance of the as-synthesized samples was evaluated by investigating their effect on the thermal decomposition of ammonium perchlorate (AP) by DSC and TG. Results indicate that the morphologies of N-doped ZnO nanocrystallites mainly depend on the presence of urea in the raw materials. Nanocrystallites with peculiar morphology, in which numerous nanorods with a diameter of 40–50 nm arrange orderly and symmetrically in hollow nanotubes with a diameter of 200–800 nm and thickness of 20–30 nm, can be produced when urea is used as a raw material. The as-synthesized N-doped ZnO sample with peculiar morphology drives the thermal decomposition peak of AP decrease about 163 °C with a strong decomposition heat about 1,325 J/g, and the activation energy also decreases from 178.22 to 93.51 kJ/mol. The enhanced catalytic activity of N-doped ZnO sample can be attributed to oxygen vacancies and other defects induced by the doping of nitrogen.

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This work is supported by Quality Inspection Commonweal Industry Scientific Research Special Item foundation No. 10-60 and Jiangsu Province Universities Natural Science Foundation 08KJD430006.

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Correspondence to Min Zheng.

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Zheng, M., Wang, Zs., Wu, Jq. et al. Synthesis of nitrogen-doped ZnO nanocrystallites with one-dimensional structure and their catalytic activity for ammonium perchlorate decomposition. J Nanopart Res 12, 2211–2219 (2010).

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  • Nanocrystallite
  • Nitrogen-doped ZnO
  • Catalysis
  • Ammonium perchlorate
  • Thermal decomposition