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Controlled Synthesis of Carbon-Encapsulated Copper Nanostructures by Using Smectite Clays as Nanotemplates

Authors

  • Dr. Theodoros Tsoufis,

    Corresponding author
    1. Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747AG Groningen (Netherlands), Fax: (+31) 50-363-7208
    • Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747AG Groningen (Netherlands), Fax: (+31) 50-363-7208
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  • Dr. Jean-François Colomer,

    1. Research Center in Physics of Matter and Radiation (PMR), University of Namur (FUNDP), Rue de Bruxelles 55, 5000 Namur (Belgium)
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  • Dr. Enrico Maccallini,

    1. Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747AG Groningen (Netherlands), Fax: (+31) 50-363-7208
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  • Dr. Lubos Jankovič,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina (Greece)
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  • Prof. Dr. Petra Rudolf,

    Corresponding author
    1. Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747AG Groningen (Netherlands), Fax: (+31) 50-363-7208
    • Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747AG Groningen (Netherlands), Fax: (+31) 50-363-7208
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  • Prof. Dr. Dimitrios Gournis

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina (Greece)
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Abstract

Rhomboidal and spherical metallic-copper nanostructures were encapsulated within well-formed graphitic shells by using a simple chemical method that involved the catalytic decomposition of acetylene over a copper catalyst that was supported on different smectite clays surfaces by ion-exchange. These metallic-copper nanostructures could be separated from the inorganic support and remained stable for months. The choice of the clay support influenced both the shape and the size of the synthesized Cu nanostructures. The synthesized materials and the supported catalysts from which they were produced were studied in detail by TEM and SEM, powder X-ray diffraction, thermal analysis, as well as by Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.

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