Germania nanoparticles and nanocrystals at room temperature in water and aqueous lysine sols

Tracy M. Davis, Mark A. Snyder, Michael Tsapatsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Facile synthesis of nanometer-sized germania crystals and amorphous germania nanoparticles (ca. 1 nm) is investigated through hydrolysis of germanium tetraethoxide and subsequent condensation of germania in both pure water and aqueous lysine solutions. Germanium tetraethoxide rapidly hydrolyzes in pure water, leading to solvated germanate species at lower germania concentrations and the onset of nanometer-sized germania crystals at room temperature with increasing germania content. In the presence of the basic amino acid L-lysine, amorphous germania nanoparticles (ca. 1 nm) spontaneously form with increasing germania content and coexist with nanometer-sized germania crystals at higher germania concentrations. Lysine and germania concentration both influence crystallite size and morphology (i.e., polyhedral, cubic). The facile, room-temperature crystallization of germania in the presence and absence of lysine is striking. The fact that the crystal morphology shows no signs of nanoparticle aggregative assembly, as has been observed in the formation of other oxide crystals, suggests that crystal growth takes place by addition of dissolved species rather than nanoparticles, and could have implications for other oxide systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12469-12472
Number of pages4
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 4 2007


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