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Boron-based nanomaterials under extreme conditions

Abstract : In this PhD work, we develop a way to prepare new nanostructured materials under extreme pressure and temperature conditions (P > 5 GPa et T > 1000 °C). The studied materials are based on a specific element: boron. Indeed, these materials have unique properties. On the one hand, boron allotropes exhibit high hardness and chemical inertness. On the other hand, metal-boron alloys (metal borides) span a wide range of properties, from thermoelectricity (HfB2) to superconductivity (TiB2). We use the synthesis in molten salts to reach nanostructured systems with two components: crystalline boride nanoparticles (ca. 10 nm) embedded in an amorphous boron matrix. High pressure high temperature treatments on these systems enable crystallisation of the amorphous component into unique phases, thus yielding new nanomaterials: boride/borate (HfB2/HfB2O5 or CaB6/CaB2O4) or boride/boron (HfB2/β-B or CaB6/β-B) nanocomposites, representing the first members of new nanomaterials families. In a final step, a specific nanostructured amorphous boron precursor is synthesised in molten salts. It is crystallised under high pressure and temperature. In addition to the first nanostructured occurrence of the epsilon-boron phase, we report two new boron-rich phases, which structure is under resolution. All in all, a new synthetic route is developed at the frontier of nanomaterials chemistry and high pressure and temperature physics, leading to new nanomaterials and structures.
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Rémi Grosjean. Boron-based nanomaterials under extreme conditions. Chemical Physics [physics.chem-ph]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA066393⟩. ⟨tel-01898865⟩

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