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Identifying quasi-free and bound nitrate ions on the surfaces of diamond nanoparticles by IR and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

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X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy data confirm that the surfaces of detonation-diamond particles contain complexes consisting of nitrate ions bound to surface defects of substitutional nitrogen in the diamond lattice or to structural units of type C(sp3)–NH3+ on the surface. Etching with argon ions easily removes the nitrate-ion complexes from the surface of the detonation diamonds without damaging their crystal lattice. Analysis of a sample’s IR absorption spectra before and after thermal heating at 350°C makes it possible to distinguish on the spectrum two lines (narrow and wide) with close-lying frequencies (1384.9 and 1372  cm−1), caused only by the different degree of bonding of the nitrate ions to underlying surface sites that contain nitrogen in tetrahedral sp3 coordination. The narrow line with higher peak intensity corresponds to an almost quasi-free state of an isolated nitrate ion on the surface of the detonation diamonds in the composition of a complex already damaged during moderate heating or during other low-energy treatments. Detonation-diamond particles with chemisorbed nitrate ions are unique markers that allow themselves to be easily detected in solid deposits of suspensions and solutions.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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