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Arc Discharge Synthesis and Photoluminescence of 3D Feather-like AlN Nanostructures

SL Yang12*, RS Gao1, PL Niu1, ZY Zou3 and RH Yu13

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, People's Republic of China

2 Astronaut Center of China, Beijing, 100094, People's Republic of China

3 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, 100191, People's Republic of China

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Nanoscale Res Lett 2011, 6:12  doi:10.1007/s11671-010-9745-4

Published: 26 August 2010


A complex three-dimensional (3D) feather-like AlN nanostructure was synthesized by a direct reaction of high-purity Al granules with nitrogen using an arc discharge method. By adjusting the discharge time, a coral-like nanostructure, which evolved from the feather-like nanostructure, has also been observed. The novel 3D feather-like AlN nanostructure has a hierarchical dendritic structure, which means that the angle between the trunk stem and its branch is always about 30° in any part of the structure. The fine branches on the surface of the feather-like nanostructure have shown a uniform fish scale shape, which are about 100 nm long, 10 nm thick and several tens of nanometers in width. An alternate growth model has been proposed to explain the novel nanostructure. The spectrum of the feather-like products shows a strong blue emission band centered at 438 nm (2.84 eV), which indicates their potential application as blue light-emitting diodes.

Arc discharge; Feather-like AlN nanostructure; Alternate growth model; Photoluminescence