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Hydrothermal evolution, optical and electrochemical properties of hierarchical porous hematite nanoarchitectures

Wancheng Zhu1*, Xili Cui1, Xiaofei Liu1, Liyun Zhang1, Jia-Qi Huang2, Xianglan Piao2 and Qiang Zhang2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Qufu Normal University, Shandong, 273165, China

2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:2  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-2

Published: 2 January 2013


Hollow or porous hematite (α-Fe2O3) nanoarchitectures have emerged as promising crystals in the advanced materials research. In this contribution, hierarchical mesoporous α-Fe2O3 nanoarchitectures with a pod-like shape were synthesized via a room-temperature coprecipitation of FeCl3 and NaOH solutions, followed by a mild hydrothermal treatment (120°C to 210°C, 12.0 h). A formation mechanism based on the hydrothermal evolution was proposed. β-FeOOH fibrils were assembled by the reaction-limited aggregation first, subsequent and in situ conversion led to compact pod-like α-Fe2O3 nanoarchitectures, and finally high-temperature, long-time hydrothermal treatment caused loose pod-like α-Fe2O3 nanoarchitectures via the Ostwald ripening. The as-synthesized α-Fe2O3 nanoarchitectures exhibit good absorbance within visible regions and also exhibit an improved performance for Li-ion storage with good rate performance, which can be attributed to the porous nature of Fe2O3 nanoarchitectures. This provides a facile, environmentally benign, and low-cost synthesis strategy for α-Fe2O3 crystal growth, indicating the as-prepared α-Fe2O3 nanoarchitectures as potential advanced functional materials for energy storage, gas sensors, photoelectrochemical water splitting, and water treatment.

Hematite; Hierarchical nanoarchitectures; Hydrothermal; Mesoporous; Lithium-ion batteries