Mechanochemical activation of metal oxides
Mechanochemistry has been experiencing a renaissance in recent years after having played only a minor role as a preparative method in chemistry for several decades, both in research and in industry. Major reasons for its revival are the advantages of this synthetic route, for example the reduction of by-products, the absence of solvents, shorter reaction times, lower reaction temperatures, or the ability to acquire metastable phases not obtained by other synthesis routes or only as side phases. Products manufactured by mechanochemical methods are therefore in line with the 12 basic principles of Green Chemistry.
The PhD thesis investigates the production of surface functionalized oxidic nanoparticles and their application for the intercalation of lithium or sodium. The focus is on the synthesis of novel nanocrystalline systems with specific properties that are difficult or impossible to achieve by classical solid-state reactions. We expect enhanced chemical reactivities, e.g. a high number of defects, which in turn affects the intercalation reactions. It is also of great interest to investigate to what extent metastable products or defect structures can be obtained through chemical surface modification of the nanoparticles. The mechanochemical activation of the solids and their functionalization is mainly performed in high-energy ball mills.