Indexed on: 04 Dec '10Published on: 04 Dec '10Published in: Journal of Nanoparticle Research
Nanoparticles of zirconium oxide (ZrO2) were synthesized by infiltration of a zirconia precursor (ZrOCl2·8H2O) into a SBA-15 mesoporous silica mold using a wet-impregnation technique. X-ray diffractometry and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy show formation of stable ZrO2 nanoparticles inside the silica pores after a thermal treatment at 550 °C. Subsequent leaching out of the silica template by NaOH resulted in well-dispersed ZrO2 nanoparticles with an average diameter of ~4 nm. The formed single crystal nanoparticles are faceted with 110 surfaces termination suggesting it to be the preferred growth orientation. A growth model of these nanoparticles is also suggested.