Non-catalytic facile synthesis of superhard phase of boron carbide (B13C2) nanoflakes and nanoparticles
Xie, Sky Shumao
Su, Liap Tat
Krishnan, Gireesh M.
Tok, Alfred Iing Yoong
Date of Issue2012
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Boron Carbide is one the hardest and lightest material that is also relatively easier to synthesis as compared to other superhard ceramics like cubic boron nitride and diamond. However, the brittle nature of monolithic advanced ceramics material hinders its use in various engineering applications. Thus, strategies that can toughen the material are of fundamental and technological importance. One approach is to use nanostructure materials as building blocks, and organize them into a complex hierarchical structure, which could potentially enhance its mechanical properties to exceed that of the monolithic form. In this paper, we demonstrated a simple approach to synthesize one- and two-dimension nanostructure boron carbide by simply changing the mixing ratio of the initial compound to influence the saturation condition of the process at a relatively low temperature of 1500 °C with no catalyst involved in the growing process. Characterization of the resulting nanostructures shows B13C2, which is a superhard phase of boron carbide as its hardness is almost twice as hard as the commonly known B4C. Using ab-initio density functional theory study on the elastic properties of both B12C3 and B13C2, the high hardness of B13C2 is consistent to our calculation results, where bulk modulus of B13C2 is higher than that of B4C. High resolution transmission electron microscopy of the nanoflakes also reveals high density of twinning defects which could potentially inhibit the crack propagation, leading to toughening of the materials.
Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology