Non-Aqueous Synthesis of High-Purity Metal Oxide Nanopowders Using an Ether Elimination Process


  • Financial support by the Max-Planck-Society is gratefully acknowledged. We thank the Fritz-Haber-Institute and Prof. R. Schlögl for the use of the electron microscope and Klaus Weiss for his technical assistance. We thank Dr. Bernd Smarsly for helpful discussions.


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A soft-chemistry route to (impurity free) Ta2O5 and HfO2 nanopowders (see Figure) based upon a synthesis protocol that involves the reaction of metal alkoxides with benzyl alcohol is presented. The formation of HfO2 proceeds via an unprecedented ether-elimination process and extends the available non-aqueous reaction methodologies in addition to the well-known ester and alkyl halide eliminations.