Gas flow-controlled microwave combustion synthesis of bismuth oxide nanoparticles

  • Abdulmajeed H. Y. Hendi
  • Saleh I. Al Quraishi
  • Nabil M. MaalejEmail author
Research Paper


Bismuth oxide (Bi2O3) nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized using a novel inert gas flow-controlled microwave (MW) combustion method. A domestic MW device was modified and used to evaporate bismuth and oxidize it in the ambient atmosphere of the MW cavity. We investigated the effect of synthesis temperature, carrier gas type (nitrogen, argon or helium), and gas flow rate on the structural, optical, morphological, and chemical properties of the synthesized Bi2O3 NPs. The X-ray diffraction analysis shows that all the NPs were of mixed polycrystalline α and β phases of Bi2O3 with predominance of β-phase. For NPs synthesized with N2, Ar, and He as carrier gases, the average NPs size was in the range of 19–86, 25–175, and 18–133 nm, respectively. The NPs size decreased with the increase of carrier gas flow rate. Consequently, the direct band gap values of the samples increased with the increase of flow rates of the carrier gases. The band gap values for the synthesized Bi2O3 NPs were in the ranges of 3.38–3.67 eV for N2 gas, 3.29–3.65 eV for Ar, and 3.25–3.64 eV for He. The FESEM analysis of the synthesized Bi2O3 NPs revealed the formation of plate-like structures. The energy dispersion X-ray spectroscopy analysis confirmed the purity of the NPs which contains only Bi and O. The oxidation state was investigated by the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and confirmed the formation of Bi2O3. The Bi2O3 NPs were coated with polyethylene glycol. The NPs have a high attenuation for X-rays and have a potential for X-ray use for X-ray contrast enhancement.


Microwave-assisted-synthesis Metal oxide nanoparticles Bismuth oxide nanoparticles 



The author(s) would like to acknowledge the support provided by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) through the Science & Technology Unit at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) for funding this work through project No. # 08-BIO96-4. as part of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Plan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdulmajeed H. Y. Hendi
    • 1
  • Saleh I. Al Quraishi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nabil M. Maalej
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentKing Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsDhahranSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Center of Excellence in NanotechnologyKing Fahd University of Petroleum and MineralsDhahranSaudi Arabia

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