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Technologically important composites with enhanced thermal and mechanical properties rely on the reinforcement by the high specific strength ceramic nanofibers or nanowires (NWs) with high aspect ratios. However, conventional synthesis routes to produce such ceramic NWs have prohibitively high cost, thus making them unsuitable for most industrial applications. Here we demonstrate a revolutionary direct transformation of bulk Mg-Li alloys into Mg alkoxide NWs without the use of catalysts, templates, expensive or toxic chemicals or any external stimuli. This mechanism proceeds through the minimization of strain energy at the boundary of phase transformation front leading to the formation of ultra-long NWs with tunable dimensions. Such alkoxide NWs can be easily converted in air into ceramic MgO NWs. We discuss the impacts of the alloy grain size and Li content, synthesis temperature, inductive and steric effects of alkoxide groups on the diameter, length, composition, ductility and oxidation of the produced NWs. The reported approach opens new avenues for multiple low-cost synthesis routes of NWs with tunable composition and morphology for their use in nanofiber-reinforced composites and other applications.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
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Magnesium oxide (MgO). An inorganic compound that occurs in nature as the mineral periclase. In aqueous media combines quickly with water to form magnesium hydroxide. It is used as an antacid and mild laxative and has many nonmedicinal uses.
Magnesium chloride. An inorganic compound consisting of one magnesium and two chloride ions. The compound is used in medicine as a source of magnesium ions, which are essential for many cellular activities. It has also been used as a cathartic and in alloys.
A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of magnesium in the diet, characterized by anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. Symptoms are paresthesias, muscle cramps, irritability, decreased attention span, and mental confusion, possibly requiring months to appear. Deficiency of body magnesium can exist even when serum values are normal. In addition, magnesium deficiency may be organ-selective, since certain tissues become deficient before others. (Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 12th ed, p1936)
Inorganic compounds that contain magnesium as an integral part of the molecule.
A generic term for a variety of compounds that contain silicon, oxygen, and magnesium, and may contain hydrogen. Examples include TALC and some kinds of ASBESTOS.