CO2-Induced Modulation of Si-O Bonds for Low Temperature Plastic Deformation of Amorphous Silica Nanoparticles with Enhanced Photoluminescence

K Huang and WZ Wu and S Xu and PF Yan and ZM Wei and Q Xu, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL MATERIALS (2023).

DOI: 10.1002/eem2.12655

Modulation of Si-O bonds under mild conditions has been a challenging issue in the field of material science, which is critical to manufacture high-performance silica-based optical and photonic devices. Herein, we introduce a nondestructive technique to achieve Si-O bond rearrangement, leading to plastic deformation and photoluminescence enhancement of amorphous silica nanoparticles using supercritical carbon dioxides in EtOH/H2O solution under mild temperature. Specifically, plastic deformation is achieved by treating hollow mesoporous silica nanospheres using supercritical CO2 at 40 degrees C under 20 MPa. Experimental and theoretical studies revealed the critical role of supercritical CO2 in the plastic deformation process, which can be intercalated into the hollow mesoporous silica nanospheres with anisotropic stresses and induces the rearrangement of Si-O bonds and transformation of ring structures. This work suggests a novel approach to engineer high- performance nano-silica glass components for numerous optical and photonic devices under mild condition.

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