Niobium (Nb) Nanoparticles - Properties, Applications

Topics Covered

Introduction
Chemical Properties
Physical Properties
Thermal Properties
Manufacturing Process
Applications

Introduction

Nanoparticles are the microparticles having one or more dimensions of the order of 100 nm or less. Currently, nanoparticles are of great scientific interest due to their greater surface area per weight and wide range of applications.

Niobium is a ductile, paramagnetic metal that becomes superconducting at cryogenic temperatures. It is very soft in its purest form, but impurities make it harder. It has a low capture cross-section for thermal neutrons, and hence it can be used in nuclear industries.

Niobium nanoparticles have resistance to high temperatures.

Chemical Properties

The chemical properties of niobium nanoparticles are outlined in the following table.

Chemical Data
Chemical symbol Nb
CAS No. 3/1/7440
Group 5
Electronic configuration [Kr] 4d4 5s1

Physical Properties

The physical properties of niobium nanoparticles are given in the following table.

Properties Metric Imperial
Molar mass 92.91 g/mol -

Thermal Properties

The thermal properties of niobium nanoparticles are provided in the table below.

Properties Metric Imperial
Melting point 2477°C 4491°F
Boiling point 4744°C 8571°F

Manufacturing Process

Niobium nanoparticles can be obtained by sodiothermic reduction process that uses Nb2O5 as the raw material, sodium as the reducing reagent and CaCl2, KCl, NaCl, and LiCl as the diluents. The process involves reacting 20% excessive sodium in NaCl, CaCl2, Nb2O5 molten salts at 650°C (1202°F) for 6 h. The niobium nanoparticles with high purity can be thus obtained.

Applications

The key applications areas of niobium nanoparticles are listed below:

  • Electrocatalysts
  • Superconductors
  • Fuel cells

Source: AZoNano

Date Added: Mar 29, 2013 | Updated: Jul 22, 2013
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