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A modified chemical-precipitation method is proposed to synthesize MgO nanopowders with high crystallinity at a low temperature of 400 °C using acetic acid as a modifier. The as-obtained intermediates and final products were investigated by Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy,
ther-mogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy, respectively. The influence of acetic acid in the MgO preparation process was also investigated by a comparison of the samples without acetic acid, and the mechanism of acetic acid modification is also proposed.
The carboxyl group of acetic acid could coordinate with Mg atom in a monodentate mode to form a new organic ligand intermediate Mg(OH)(OCOCH3), which facilitates the thermal decomposition of the intermediate at low temperature and enhances the crystallization of MgO.
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