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Open Access Nano Express

Synthesis of freestanding HfO2 nanostructures

Timothy Kidd1*, Aaron O'Shea1, Kayla Boyle2, Jeff Wallace1 and Laura Strauss2

Author Affiliations

1 Physics Department, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614, USA

2 Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:294  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-294

Published: 5 April 2011

Abstract

Two new methods for synthesizing nanostructured HfO2 have been developed. The first method entails exposing HfTe2 powders to air. This simple process resulted in the formation of nanometer scale crystallites of HfO2. The second method involved a two-step heating process by which macroscopic, freestanding nanosheets of HfO2 were formed as a byproduct during the synthesis of HfTe2. These highly two-dimensional sheets had side lengths measuring up to several millimeters and were stable enough to be manipulated with tweezers and other instruments. The thickness of the sheets ranged from a few to a few hundred nanometers. The thinnest sheets appeared transparent when viewed in a scanning electron microscope. It was found that the presence of Mn enhanced the formation of HfO2 by exposure to ambient conditions and was necessary for the formation of the large scale nanosheets. These results present new routes to create freestanding nanostructured hafnium dioxide.

PACS: 81.07.-b, 61.46.Hk, 68.37.Hk.