Mechanochemical route to the synthesis of nanostructured Aluminium nitride

Seyyed Amin Rounaghi, H. Eshghi, Sergio Scudino, A. Vyalikh, D. E P Vanpoucke, Wolfgang Gruner, Stefan Oswald, A. R. Kiani Rashid, Mohsen Samadi Khoshkhoo, U. Scheler, Jürgen Eckert

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Hexagonal Aluminium nitride (h-AlN) is an important wide-bandgap semiconductor material which is conventionally fabricated by high temperature carbothermal reduction of alumina under toxic ammonia atmosphere. Here we report a simple, low cost and potentially scalable mechanochemical procedure for the green synthesis of nanostructured h-AlN from a powder mixture of Aluminium and melamine precursors. A combination of experimental and theoretical techniques has been employed to provide comprehensive mechanistic insights on the reactivity of melamine, solid state metal-organic interactions and the structural transformation of Al to h-AlN under non-equilibrium ball milling conditions. The results reveal that melamine is adsorbed through the amine groups on the Aluminium surface due to the long-range van der Waals forces. The high energy provided by milling leads to the deammoniation of melamine at the initial stages followed by the polymerization and formation of a carbon nitride network, by the decomposition of the amine groups and, finally, by the subsequent diffusion of nitrogen into the Aluminium structure to form h-AlN.
Original languageEnglish
Article number33375
Number of pages11
JournalScientific reports (London : Nature Publishing Group)
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2016

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