The effects of cerium doping on the size, morphology, and optical properties of α-hematite nanoparticles for ultraviolet filtration
Metal oxide nanoparticles have potential use in energy storage, electrode materials, as catalysts and in the emerging field of nanomedicine. Being able to accurately tailor the desirable properties of these nanoceramic materials, such as particle size, morphology and optical bandgap (Eg) is integral in the feasibility of their use. In this study we investigate the altering of both the structure and physical properties through the doping of hematite (a-Fe203) nanocrystals with cerium at a range of concentrations, synthesised using a one-pot co-precipitation method. This extremely simple synthesis followed by thermal treatment results in stable Fe2-xCexOY nanoceramics resulting from the burning of any unreacted precursors and transformation of goethite-cerium doped nanoparticle intermediate. The inclusion of Ce into the crystal lattice of these a-Fe203 nanoparticles causes a significantly large reduction in mean crystalline size and alteration in particle morphology with increasing cerium content. Finally we report an increase optical semiconductor bandgap, along with a substantial increase in the ultraviolet attenuation found for a 10% Ce-doping concentration which shows the potential application of cerium-doped hematite nanocrystals to be used as a pigmented ultraviolet filter for cosmetic products
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