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Mesoporous Metal Nitride Materials Prepared from Bulk Oxides


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The preparation of metal nitride materials structured on the nano or mesoscale is challenging due to the need for high sintering temperatures and/or long reaction times. Here, we present a new and simple process for preparing mesoporous transition metal nitrides without the use of nanopatterning or other templating. Mesoporous VN, TiN, CrN, Ta3N5, TaN, NbN, WN, MoN, and Mo2N are obtained by the ammonolysis of bulk ternary oxides containing Zn. The products were characterized by Rietveld refinement of powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) patterns, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and nitrogen adsorption/desorption analysis. Our results demonstrate that the pore sizes of these materials range from 10 to 50 nm. By varying the precursor stoichiometry, the transition metal, and processing conditions, many different mesoporous morphologies are obtained. These materials show high surface area and good electrical conductivity.