Shape-controlled synthesis and cathodoluminescence properties of elongated α-Fe_2O_3 nanostructures

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Chioncel, M.
Piqueras de Noriega, Javier
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American Institute of Physics
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α-Fe_2O_3 (hematite) nanostructures with various morphologies have been grown by thermal oxidation of compacted iron powder at temperatures between 700 and 900 degrees C. Different thermal treatments have been found to induce the growth of single-crystalline nanowires, nanobelts, nanoplates and featherlike structures, free and caped nanopillars, and pyramidal microcrystals or cactuslike microstructures. The experimental conditions leading to the different morphologies have been systematically investigated, as well as the possible growth mechanisms. The obtained nanostructures have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopy in the SEM. The formation of the nanostructures induces changes in the intensity and spectral distribution of the CL emission, as compared with the bulk material. Ligand to metal charge transfer transitions as well as Fe^(3+) ligand field transitions are thought to be involved in the observed luminescence. The evolution of the panchromatic CL intensity in the visible range as a function of temperature shows some anomalies that may be induced by magnetic ordering effects.
© 2008 American Institute of Physics. This work has been supported by MEC through Project No. MAT2006-01259. M.F.C. acknowledges the financial support received from UCM and Banco Santander.
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