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Synthesis and Characterization of Highly Dispersed Antimony-Doped Stannic Hydroxide Nanoparticles: Effects of the Azeotropic Solvents to Remove Water on the Properties and Microstructures of the Nanoparticles

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Highly dispersed antimony (Sb)-doped stannic hydroxide nanoparticles have been successfully prepared using the solution chemistry method. The properties and microstructures of the nanoparticles are investigated in detail by means of infrared, transmission electron microscope, X-ray diffractometer, and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller nitrogen surface area measurements. The results indicate that the properties and microstructures of the nanoparticles strongly depend on the azeotropic solvents used to remove water at the drying stage. Various azeotropic solvents are screened to investigate their effects on the size and dispersivity of dried Sb-doped stannic hydroxide. Three empirical rules are drawn for selecting an effective azeotropic solvent: (1) the solvent molecule should contain at least one atom such as oxygen as the hydrogen (H)-bond acceptor to form H bonds with the surface –OH (acting as an H-bond donor) of polymer particle; (2) the H-bond acceptor should locate in the middle of the alkane chain rather than on the terminal so that the alkane chain can stretch out and cover more surface area, improving the dispersivity of the dried product; and (3) the solvent should have a higher boiling point (∼140°C) to reduce the time of azeotropic distillation for removing water and maintain a lower residual amount of azeotropic agent. Based on the empirical rules, it is discovered that iso-amyl acetate is the most effective azeotropic solvent.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Resources & Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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