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dc.contributor.authorCaddeo, Francesco
dc.contributor.authorCasu, Alberto
dc.contributor.authorLoche, Danilo
dc.contributor.authorMorgan, Lucy M.
dc.contributor.authorMountjoy, Gavin
dc.contributor.authorO'Regan, Colm
dc.contributor.authorCasula, Maria F.
dc.contributor.authorHayama, Shusaku
dc.contributor.authorCorrias, Anna
dc.contributor.authorFalqui, Andrea
dc.identifier.citationCaddeo, F., Casu, A., Loche, D., Morgan, L. M., Mountjoy, G., O’Regan, C., … Falqui, A. (2021). Thermally stable surfactant-free ceria nanocubes in silica aerogel. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 583, 376–384. doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2020.09.044
dc.description.abstractSurfactant-mediated chemical routes allow one to synthesize highly engineered shape- and size-controlled nanocrystals. However, the occurrence of capping agents on the surface of the nanocrystals is undesirable for selected applications. Here, a novel approach to the production of shape-controlled nanocrystals which exhibit high thermal stability is demonstrated. Ceria nanocubes obtained by surfactant-mediated synthesis are embedded inside a highly porous silica aerogel and thermally treated to remove the capping agent. Powder X-ray Diffraction and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy show the homogeneous dispersion of the nanocubes within the aerogel matrix. Remarkably, both the size and the shape of the ceria nanocubes are retained not only throughout the aerogel syntheses but also upon thermal treatments up to 900 °C, while avoiding their agglomeration. The reactivity of ceria is measured by in situ High-Energy Resolution Fluorescence Detected - X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy at the Ce L3 edge, and shows the reversibility of redox cycles of ceria nanocubes when they are embedded in the aerogel. This demonstrates that the enhanced reactivity due to their prominent {1 0 0} crystal facets is preserved. In contrast, unsupported ceria nanocubes begin to agglomerate as soon as the capping agent decomposes, leading to a degradation of their reactivity already at 275 °C.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was supported by the British Council UK-Gulf Institutional Links grant (279183790) and by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grants (EP/K50306X/1 and EP/1641783). The authors also wish to thank the Diamond Light Source for the award of beam time SP19013. The graphical abstract was produced by Heno Hwang, scientific illustrator at KAUST, who is gratefully acknowledged.
dc.publisherElsevier BV
dc.rightsThis is an open access article under the CC BY license.
dc.titleThermally stable surfactant-free ceria nanocubes in silica aerogel
dc.contributor.departmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
dc.contributor.departmentKing Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division, Nabla Lab, 23955-6900 Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
dc.contributor.departmentBioscience Program
dc.identifier.journalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
dc.eprint.versionPublisher's Version/PDF
dc.contributor.institutionSchool of Physical Sciences, Ingram Building, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NH, United Kingdom
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Mechanical, Chemical and Material Engineering, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, I-09123 Cagliari, Italy
dc.contributor.institutionDiamond Light Source, Harwell Science & Innovation Campus, Didcot OX11 0DE, United Kingdom
kaust.personCasu, Alberto
kaust.personO'Regan, Colm
kaust.personFalqui, Andrea
kaust.acknowledged.supportUnitscientific illustrator

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