Nanoparticles and nanostructured materials are one of the novel classes of materials that have attracted great attention within the scientific community owing to their unique physical and chemical properties. Wide varieties of naturally occurring and manufactured nanoparticles and nanostructured have been reported and varieties of others are expected to appear in the future. This PhD reports on novel synthesis methods for producing nanoparticles and nanostructured materials based on CaCO3, ZnCO3, Ag, ZnO and SiO2, and an in-depth treatment of their characterization and physicochemical properties compared to those of the bulk materials. The purposed synthesis approaches, i.e., the bubbling carbonation method, direct wet carbonation, thermal decarbonation, seed-mediated hot-injection, and sol-gel hot injection method, allow for the production of a wide range of highly structured nanoparticles with desired properties and potential applications. Use of growth control additives during the synthesis process provides a certain degree of control over the structure, shape, and size of the nanostructures formed. Tuning the composition, size, shape, surface properties, and specific surface area results in improved dispersion, interfacial adhesion, enhanced thermal stability, antibacterial activity, photocatalytic activity and UV-protection, as well as brilliant coloration. These desired properties find potential applications in high performance coating, thermoplastic polymers, multifunctional fabrics, photocatalysis applications and electronic devices. Advanced nucleation and growth theories were used to explain the growth of the obtained nanoparticles and nanostructures to the desired structures. The proposed synthesis approaches used in this thesis are all applicable for the production of nanoparticles or nanostructured materials on larger scales.
Date of Award4 Jul 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Faculty of Engineering
SupervisorGuy Van Assche (Promotor) & Hubert Rahier (Promotor)


  • nanoparticles
  • sol-gel hot injection method
  • nanostructured materials
  • synthesis

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