Research Article


2021, 14(9): 3228–3233


Silica-coating-assisted nitridation of TiO2 nanoparticles and their photothermal property

Qilin Wei1, Danielle L. Kuhn2, Zachary Zander2, Brendan G. DeLacy2, Hai-Lung Dai1 (✉), and Yugang Sun1 (✉)

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1 Department of Chemistry, Temple University, 1901 North 13th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122, USA
2 U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Research & Technology Directorate, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland 21010, USA

Keywords: titanium-oxide-nitride nanoparticles, mesoporous silica coating, nitridation reaction, structural transformation, plasmonic absorption, photothermal effect
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Nanoparticles of refractory compounds represent a class of stable materials showing a great promise to support localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs) in both visible and near infrared (NIR) spectral regions. It is still challenging to rationally tune the LSPR band because of the difficulty to control the density of charge carriers in individual refractory nanoparticles and maintain the dispersity of nanoparticles in the processes of synthesis and applications. In this work, controlled chemical transformation of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles encapsulated with mesoporous silica (SiO2) shells to titanium nitride (TiN) via nitridation reaction at elevated temperatures is developed to tune the density of free electrons in the resulting titanium-oxide-nitride (TiOxNy) nanoparticles. Such tunability enables a flexibility to support LSPR-based optical absorption in the synthesized TiOxNy@SiO2 core–shell nanoparticles across both the visible and NIR regions. The silica shells play a crucial role in preventing the sintering of TiOxNy nanoparticles in the nitridation reaction and maintaining the stability of TiOxNy nanoparticles in applications. The LSPR-based broadband absorption of light in the TiOxNy@SiO2 nanoparticles exhibits strong photothermal effect with photo-to-thermal conversion efficiency as high as ~ 76%.
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Silica-coating-assisted nitridation of TiO2 nanoparticles and their photothermal property. Nano Res. 2021, 14(9): 3228–3233

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