Understanding how solids form is a challenging task, and few strategies allow for elucidation of reaction pathways that are useful for designing the synthesis of solids. Here, we report a powerful solution-mediated approach for formation of nanocrystals of the thermoelectrically promising FeSb2 that uses activated metal nanoparticles as precursors. The small particle size of the reactants ensures minimum diffusion paths, low activation barriers, and low reaction temperatures, thereby eliminating solid-solid diffusion as the rate-limiting step in conventional bulk-scale solid-state synthesis. A time- and temperature-dependent study of formation of nanoparticular FeSb2 by X-ray powder diffraction and iron-57 Mössbauer spectroscopy showed the incipient formation of the binary phase in the temperature range of 200-250 °C.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry