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Solvothermal synthesis of uniform bismuth nanospheres using poly(N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone) as a reducing agent

Jiliang Wu1, Fan Qin1, Zhong Lu1, Hai-Jian Yang2 and Rong Chen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory for Green Chemical Process of Ministry of Education and School of Chemical Engineering & Pharmacy, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan, 430073, P. R. China

2 Key Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials Science of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission & Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Materials Science, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan, 430074, P. R. China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:66  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-66

Published: 12 January 2011

Abstract

Uniform bismuth nanospheres were successfully prepared from bismuth nitrate in the presence of poly(N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone) (PVP) by solvothermal process. The product was characterized by powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction, and energy-dispersive X-ray. PVP plays a critical role both as a reducing agent and a capping agent in the formation of bismuth nanospheres. Shape and size of bismuth nanospheres could be tuned by changing the employed PVP/bismuth salt ratio. It was also found the solvent had an effect on the morphologies of bismuth nanomaterials. The possible formation and growth mechanism of bismuth nanospheres were also discussed and proposed to explain the reduction step.