Costacurta, Stefano and Malfatti, Luca and Innocenzi, Plinio and Amenitsch, Heinz and Masili, Alice and Corrias, Anna and Casula, Maria Francesca (2008) Confined growth of iron cobalt nanocrystals in mesoporous silica thin films: FeCo-SiO2 nanocomposites. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials, Vol. 115 (3), p. 338-344. ISSN 1387-1811. Article.
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Mesoporous silica films with controlled porosity were utilized as the host matrices to prepare FeCo-SiO2 nanocomposites through an impregnation process. The mesoporous silica films were first impregnated with a solution containing Co(II) and Fe(III) ions and then submitted to a reduction treatment under H2 flow. FeCo nanocrystals growth took place inside the mesopores, and their monodisperse size was dictated only by the size of the mesopores. We illustrate this process by the use of two different silica film matrices having different pore size and mesophase symmetry as the templates for the growth of FeCo alloy nanocrystals. The films and the nanocomposite samples were investigated by grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering, X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Unimpregnated mesoporous silica samples before and after the same thermal reduction treatment were also studied in order to investigate the mesopore structure variation upon the reduction treatment.
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