NANOSOL

NANOSOL is a set of solar reactors for the preparation of inorganic nanophases by a vapo-condensation process. The solar reactors are made with glass vessels connected to vacuum pumping systems. The target (compacted powder, sintered or melted material) is placed at the focus of a vertical 2 kW MSSF on a water-cooled holder, insuring non-polluting heating. A primary vacuum or a neutral, reducing or oxidizing atmosphere can be maintained dynamically. The smokes, produced by the vaporization or the sublimation of the targets, are collected by a metallic filter placed inside the collector (glass tube) or by a water cooled brass tube (cold finger), depending on the vapour pressure of the materials. The usual production rate of nanophases is from 10 mg/day to 20mg/hour. The following nanophases are currently prepared : pure ZnO, ZnO + x%mol Bi203 (x = 0.18, 0.26, 0.88, 1.76, 3.55), ZnO + x%mol In203 (x=0, 1.5, 2.5, 5.0), ZnO + x%mol Sb203 (x=0, 1.5, 2.5, 5.0), ZnO + x%mol Co0 (x = 5, 10), Zn and Al metallic nano-particles, yttria doped zirconia, gadolinium doped ceria nanophases, etc. Material characterization by XRD, HREM, SEM, ? of the as-prepared powders, after thermal treatments, or after preparation of massive nano-materials, permits to study several properties: luminescence, catalicity and photo-dissociation properties (pure, In or Sb-doped ZnO nanophases), magnetic properties (Co doped ZnO nanophases), electrical properties (Bi doped ZnO, yttria doped zirconia, gadolinium doped ceria nano-materials), etc. Some potential applications of the nanophases are : varistors, luminescent screens, transparent electrodes, spintronics, photo-degradation of organic molecules, H2(g) production by reduction of water, solid electrolytes with high ionic conductivities, etc.