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Applications of Ultrasound to the Synthesis of Nanostructured Materials

Authors

  • Jin Ho Bang,

    1. School of Chemical Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 600 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (USA)
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  • Kenneth S. Suslick

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemical Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 600 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (USA)
    • School of Chemical Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 600 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, Illinois 61801 (USA).
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Abstract

Recent advances in nanostructured materials have been led by the development of new synthetic methods that provide control over size, morphology, and nano/microstructure. The utilization of high intensity ultrasound offers a facile, versatile synthetic tool for nanostructured materials that are often unavailable by conventional methods. The primary physical phenomena associated with ultrasound that are relevant to materials synthesis are cavitation and nebulization. Acoustic cavitation (the formation, growth, and implosive collapse of bubbles in a liquid) creates extreme conditions inside the collapsing bubble and serves as the origin of most sonochemical phenomena in liquids or liquid-solid slurries. Nebulization (the creation of mist from ultrasound passing through a liquid and impinging on a liquid-gas interface) is the basis for ultrasonic spray pyrolysis (USP) with subsequent reactions occurring in the heated droplets of the mist. In both cases, we have examples of phase-separated attoliter microreactors: for sonochemistry, it is a hot gas inside bubbles isolated from one another in a liquid, while for USP it is hot droplets isolated from one another in a gas. Cavitation-induced sonochemistry provides a unique interaction between energy and matter, with hot spots inside the bubbles of ∼5000 K, pressures of ∼1000 bar, heating and cooling rates of >1010 K s−1; these extraordinary conditions permit access to a range of chemical reaction space normally not accessible, which allows for the synthesis of a wide variety of unusual nanostructured materials. Complementary to cavitational chemistry, the microdroplet reactors created by USP facilitate the formation of a wide range of nanocomposites. In this review, we summarize the fundamental principles of both synthetic methods and recent development in the applications of ultrasound in nanostructured materials synthesis.

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