Novel surfactant-free synthesis of MgO nanoflakes

M.A. Shaha and Ahsanulhaq Qurashib,aEM Laboratory, Department of Physics, National Institute of Technology (Deemed University), Hazratbal, Srinagar 190006, India bDepartment of Engineering, Toyama University, 3190 Gofuku, Toyama 930-8555, Japan

Received 24 January 2009; revised 15 April 2009; accepted 16 April 2009. Available online 4 May 2009.

A new and an environmentally benign route have been developed for the synthesis of MgO nanoflakes, which does not require any additives, surfactants and substrates. The technique is based on a very simple reaction of magnesium powder and water at temperature of 100 °C. The formation of MgO nanostructures by the reaction of metals with water is suggested to occur due to the decomposition of magnesium hydroxide at higher temperature and higher pressure. The MgO nanoflakes have an average width of 40 nm, thickness of 20 nm and length up to 1 μm. Compared with other methods, the present method is fast, economical, low temperature and free of pollution which will make it suitable for large scale production. Moreover, the technique does not require any sophisticated equipments and as such can be extended to the other metal oxides.

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