Fabrication of Nanoporous Al by Vapor-Phase Dealloying: Morphology Features, Mechanical Properties and Model Predictions

Andrea Pinna, Giorgio Pia, Maria Francesca Casula, Francesco Delogu, Elisa Sogne, Andrea Falqui, Luca Pilia

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The physical and chemical properties shown by nanoporous metals, related to their unique structure, make them very promising for application in several fields. Recently, vapor-phase dealloying has been reported as a method for the preparation of several non-noble nanoporous metals, alternatively to dealloying in aqueous solutions. Using this approach, we have successfully fabricated nanoporous Al starting from an Al20Zn80 nanocomposite obtained by ball milling. The nanocomposite was annealed at 550 °C under high-vacuum conditions, and the difference in the vapor pressures allowed the selective removal of Zn by vapor-phase dealloying. The morphology of the resulting nanoporous material was analyzed by Scanning Electron Microscopy showing pores from few to thousands of nm; moreover, the nanoporous 3D structure was observed through Serial Block Face-Scanning Electron Microscopy. A specific surface area as high as 73 m2 g−1 was estimated by N2 physisorption measurements. In addition, a fractal model able to well reproduce the morphology of nanoporous Al was built. This model has been used for predicting mechanical properties which are in good agreement with experimental data obtained by nanoindentation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6639
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 20 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-07-29
Acknowledgements: This research was funded by Fondazione di Sardegna, through projects F74I19001030007 and F72F20000360007. This research was also supported by King Abdullah University of Science (KAUST) Baseline funding to Andrea Falqui.


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