Principles and Advantages of Microwave-Assisted Methods for the Synthesis of Nanomaterials for Water Purification

Principles and Advantages of Microwave-Assisted Methods for the Synthesis of Nanomaterials for Water Purification

Tawfik A. Saleh (Department of Chemistry, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia), Shafquat Majeed (University of Kashmir, India), Arunima Nayak (Innovació i Recerca Industrial I Sostenible, Spain & Graphic Era University, India) and Brij Bhushan (Innovació i Recerca Industrial I Sostenible, Spain & Graphic Era University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2136-5.ch003
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Abstract

Nanomaterials are the pillars of nanoscience and nanotechnology and to realize their full potential in various potential applications, synthetic methodologies/routes need to be established that are simple, fast and cost-effective. Wet-chemical approaches for nanomaterial synthesis have proven to be among the most versatile and effective routes to finely tailor nanocrystals with varying compositional and architectural complexity. Microwave-assisted solution route represents an efficient wet-chemical approach for the synthesis of nanomaterials that offers additional advantages, such as rapid volumetric heating, high reaction rates, size and shape control by tuning reaction parameters, and energy efficiency. In addition, the homogenous heating of the reactants in microwave synthesis minimizes thermal gradients and provides uniform nucleation and growth conditions that leads to the formation of nanomaterials with uniform size distribution. This chapter deals with the basics of microwave chemistry and its applications towards the synthesis of nanomaterials for catalytic applications.
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2. Microwave Basics

“Microwave chemistry” is the science of applying microwave irradiation to chemical reactions and is based on the efficient heating of matter by microwave dielectric heating, i.e., on the ability of a specific material (e.g., solvent and/or reagents) to absorb microwave energy and to convert it into heat. In the liquid phase synthesis of nanomaterials, microwave irradiation triggers heating by two main mechanisms, namely, dipolar polarization and ionic conduction as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Two main heating mechanisms under microwave irradiation: (a) dipolar polarization; (b) ionic conduction mechanism

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