Filling nanotubes for photocatalysis

Walker, Kate E. (2019) Filling nanotubes for photocatalysis. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

The work presented in this thesis describes the preparation, characterisation and applications of novel classes of one-dimensional nanostructures comprising guest-species encapsulated within host-boron nitride and carbon nanotubes (BNNT and CNT respectively). A number of methods to open, shorten and purify the tubular host-nanostructures were evaluated in order to provide the most accessible route for guest-species into the internal volume of the nanotubes and maximise the filling yield. C60¬-fullerene was inserted into BNNT from the gas-phase and found to exhibit unusual and diameter-dependent stacking arrangements and temperature-dependent dynamic behaviour inside nanotubes. Subsequent heating of this material resulted in the formation of a CNT inside BNNT – an important step toward realisation of the world’s smallest co-axial cable, now affordable on a preparative scale. Both liquid- and gas-phase impregnation of CNT and BNNT with ionic cadmium precursors, followed by confined reactions with sulphur-containing compounds, lead to the templated formation of cadmium sulphide quantum dots inside nanotubes. These novel photocatalytic nanoreactors were applied for the degradation of methylene blue, exploring the effects of quantum dot location (inside versus outside nanotubes) and the type of nanotube (CNT versus BNNT) on the rates of reaction. No effect of spatial confinement inside nanotubes was observed, but BNNT were seen to outperform CNT, a feat that has been attributed to the transparency of BNNT to visible light. These results further demonstrate the outstanding ability of CNT and BNNT to act as nanoscale containers and reaction vessels for molecules, affording unique materials with potential applications in electronic and catalytic devices.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Khlobystov, Andrei N.
Keywords: BN nanotubes, Carbon nanotubes, encapsulation, Transformations, Photocatalysis, Dynamics, Quantum dots
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC170 Atomic physics. Constitution and properties of matter
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Chemistry
Item ID: 48750
Depositing User: Walker, Kate
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2019 04:40
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 12:30
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/48750

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