Synthesis of acicular α-Bi2O3 microcrystals by microwave-assisted hydrothermal method
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Materials based on bismuth(III) oxide are candidate to be used in optical and electronic devices because of their properties such as a variable band gap, photoconductivity, photoluminescence, high refractive index, and dielectric permittivity. These properties are dependent of several factors, e.g., present phases and crystal morphology. The microwave-assisted hydrothermal method (MAH) is a fast and efficient approach of synthesis to obtain semiconductor powders. However, the synthesis of monoclinic bismuth oxide (α-Bi2O3) with acicular morphology by MAH was not found in literature. In this paper, microcrystals of acicular α-Bi2O3 (monophasic) were successfully obtained by MAH using a synthesis temperature of 80°C for 0.5 h. X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopies showed the formation of a monoclinic structure (space group P21/c) with acicular morphology that grew along the  direction. The temperature and time necessary to synthetize acicular microcrystals were significantly lower than those found for acicular microcrystals obtained by conventional hydrothermal method.