Philippine natural zeolite surface engineered with CuO nanowires via a one-step thermal decomposition route


Novel CuO nanowire-zeolite composite was successfully fabricated through facile thermal decomposition of CuSO4 • 5H2O as the lone precursor. The natural zeolites have porous and plate-like structures, which suggest the presence of clinoptilolite-heulandite family of zeolites. After annealing of Cu-exchanged zeolite at 550 °C, CuO nanowires were synthesized with a mean diameter of 80 nm and length of 1.5 μm. XRD analysis revealed that the samples annealed at 550 °C showed clinoptilolite-heulandite peaks, as well as a broad CuO peak. Annealing at a higher temperature of 800 °C led to the amorphization of the zeolite peaks. The XPS spectra of the zeolite with Cu annealed at 400, 550, and 800 °C confirmed that annealing at 550 °C preferably forms CuO rather than Cu2O on zeolite surface. These analyses identified that annealing at 550 °C functionalized the Cu-exchanged zeolite surface, which is desirable for a wide variety of applications such as catalysis, sorbents for environmental applications, and gas sensors.

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This study was funded by the Department of Science and Technology through the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (DOST-ERDT) and ADMATEL. The XPS experiment research was provided by the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC) under the National Science and Technology Department Agency (NSTDA). The XPS measurements were supported by BL-5.3 SUT-NANOTEC-SLRI Beamline staff members. Support was also provided by SAILE Industries, Inc. for the minerals used in the study and its preliminary data analysis and Oceanagold Philippines for the research grant through its Mine Technology Program.

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Olegario, E., Felizco, J.C., Pelicano, C.M. et al. Philippine natural zeolite surface engineered with CuO nanowires via a one-step thermal decomposition route. J Aust Ceram Soc 56, 803–809 (2020).

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  • CuO nanowire
  • Philippine natural zeolite
  • Thermal decomposition