When kinetic conditions dominate and dictate the growth in a nanoparticle synthesis, properties of the synthesis environment can have considerable effects on the properties of the products. Such effects were studied here, where the solution environment was changed via the addition of KF to the hydrothermal syntheses of KTa1-xNbxO3 and KTaO3. One result demonstrated the straightforward cause-and-effect relationship between the solution and reaction kinetics: KF directly increased the solution stability of the Ta species and therefore decreased its reaction rate, resulting in a change in composition heterogeneity of Ta and Nb in the KTa1-xNbxO3 particles. However, not all effects are so simple; changing the chemical potential of the solution with KF can also promote the formation of particles with anisotropic defect enhanced kinetic Wulff shapes instead of cuboidal shapes. The increased F chemical potential in the solution enabled the formation of planar defects in the bulk, which accelerated growth in-plane to form particles characterized by flat rectangular flake geometries. Thermodynamic modeling with density functional theory calculations confirmed that sufficient KF concentrations can drive the formation of a defect phase Kn+1TanO3nF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films