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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Functional Nanostructures from Sol-Gel Synthesis Using Keggin Polyoxometallate Phosphotungstic Acid as a Precursor

Greijer, Bjorn; De Turck, Wannes; Daniel, Geoffrey; Saha, Jayeeta; Johnsson, Mats; Seisenbaeva, Gulaim A.; Kessler, Vadim


Subjecting phosphotungstic acid solutions to low pH in combination with introduction of polyvalent cations led to the formation of nanostructured microspheres of approximately 2 mu m in size, as shown by scanning electron microscopy, which were almost insoluble and resistant to degradation at neutral and high pH. These microspheres were composed of secondary nanospheres with diameters around 20 nm as revealed by transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Investigations of the crystal structure of a potential intermediate of this process, namely, acidic lanthanum phosphotungstate, [La(H2O)(9)](H3O)(3)[PW12O40](2)(H2O)(19), showed a tight network of hydrogen bonding, permitting closer packing of phosphotungstic acid anions, thereby confirming the mechanism of the observed self-assembly process. The new material demonstrated promising electrochemical properties in oxygen evolution reactions with the high stability of the obtained electrode material.

Published in

Inorganic Chemistry
2024, Volume: 63, number: 7, pages: 3428-3435