Ancient technology/novel nanomaterials: casting titanium carbide nanowires
Z. Zhang, Y. Wang, J. Frenzel.
CrystEngComm, 12, 2835-2840, (2010)
We show here that novel nanomaterials can be fabricated by an ancient casting technology. Titanium carbide (TiC) nanowires have been synthesized by casting NiTi alloys containing a little amount of carbon. The morphology and structure of the TiC nanowires have been investigated using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The TiC nanowires have a single crystalline structure and grow along the <100> direction. The diameters of the TiC nanowires range from 50 to 500 nm, and their lengths vary from 10 to 100 μm. Moreover, the diameters and lengths of the TiC nanowires can be adjusted by simply changing applied cooling rates during casting. The TiC nanowires have high aspect ratios of 80–500, which are beneficial to their field emission performance. A eutectic reaction mechanism has been presented to explain the formation of the TiC nanowires. The ancient casting technology may be used to synthesize novel nanowires of other metal carbides, oxides or nitrides. Our findings can provide implications for fabricating novel nanomaterials using ancient or traditional technologies.