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Elemental, pure and doped boron nano-powders

Boron compoundsBoron nano-powderdoped BoronMgB2 - Magnesium diboride

Introduction

The invention concerns a method for the production of nanometric-size powders of elementary boron, in the amorphous state and/or optionally homogeneously doped. Our method is suitable for the industrial production of doped boron: the nanopowders obtained have improved properties, due to the controllable formation of optimal defects at short and medium range into the crystal lattice. The method is cheap, uses standard processes and allows the production of large amount of nano-powders per batch.

Technical features

Doped boron is not commercially available and the doping step must be successively done in laboratory by adopting expensive and hazardous processes, both for the technicians and for the environment. Our method solves such problems and includes the following steps:

  1. dissolving an oxidized Boron precursor compound in a solvent (during this step a doping agent can be added when required);
  2. freezing the solution into a cryogenic liquid and by sublimation transforming it in a finely divided particulate Solvent (water) is removed by freezing-dry process and nanostructured Boron precursor is obtained;
  3. reduction with a reducing agent, to obtain elementary amorphous boron in nano-sized powder form (amorphous Boron can also be recrystallized).

Possible Applications

  • Superconducting wires;
  • Air-bags triggers;
  • Neutron absorbers;
  • Semiconductors, alloys, glasses;
  • Abrasives;
  • Refractory materials;
  • Propellant for rockets;
  • Bleaches, catalysers, disinfectants.

Advantages

  • High degree of purity (95-98%);
  • Nanostructured and amorphous powders, optionally intrinsically doped;
  • Homogeneity of doped boron powders;
  • Applicability to different boron precursors;
  • Large amount of product per batch.