Self-Assembled Hollow Spheres of β-Ni(OH) 2 and Their Derived Nanomaterials

Shengmao Zhang, Hua Chun Zeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


This paper describes a novel solution-based chemical process to architect hollow spheres of β-Ni(OH) 2 with controllable sizes in submicrometer and micrometer regimes. In the synthesis, starting nickel salt (nitrate) is first converted to 6-coordinated nickel ion complex [Ni(EDA) 3] 2+ (bidentate ligand EDA = C 2H 4(NH 2) 2) to avoid rapid solid formation. Hollow and core - shell β-Ni(OH) 2 spheres can be obtained with this template-free approach under one-pot conditions. The β-Ni(OH) 2 spheres are constructed from petal-like nanobuilding units which in turn are formed from even smaller nanocrystallites. The obtained porous β-Ni(OH) 2 spheres have a large specific surface area and show a unimodal pore-size distribution. Several preparative parameters have been examined and optimized. In particular, the concentration of divalent nickel in the starting solutions plays an important role in controlling thickness of the petal-like β-Ni(OH) 2 flakes and diameter of spheres. The β-Ni(OH) 2 flakes self-assemble into final spherical products through a donut-like structural intermediate. Furthermore, the β-Ni(OH) 2 hollow spheres can be used as solid precursors to synthesize other nanostructured derivatives. In this work, phase pure inorganic nanostructures, carbon nanotube (CNT) - inorganic nanocomposites, and inorganic - inorganic nanocom-posites (e.g., NiO, Ni, NiO/Ni, Ni/β-Ni(OH) 2, CNTs/NiO, CNTs/Ni, Ni@CNTs, Fe(OH) 3/β-Ni(OH) 2, Co(OH) 2/β-Ni(OH) 2, and Mg(OH) 2/β-Ni(OH) 2) have been prepared via solid-state thermal decomposition, gas-phase reduction, solution-based reduction, surface oxidation, chemical vapor deposition, and liquid-phase deposition. A greater picture for general synthesis of Ni-containing nanomaterials is thus obtained. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-883
Number of pages13
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 10 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the National University of Singapore, Singapore, and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia. S.M.Z. would also like to thank the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for providing his visiting scholarship at the National University of Singapore.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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