Bismuth-Ceramic Nanocomposites with Unusual Thermal Stability via High-Energy Ball Milling

Matthew A. Meitl, Timothy M. Dellinger, Paul V. Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrically conducting nanocomposites of bismuth metal and insulating ceramic phases of SiO2 and MgO were generated via high-energy ball milling for 24 h using zirconia milling media. The resulting nanocomposites contain Bi nanoparticles with sizes down to 5 nm in diameter. The morphology is a strong function of the oxide phase: specifically, the Bi appears to wet MgO while it forms spherical nanoparticles on the SiO2. X-ray diffraction measurements indicate a nominal bismuth grain size of 50 nm, and peak fitting to a simple bidisperse model yields a mixture of approximately 57% bulk bismuth and 43% 27 nm diameter crystallites. Nanoparticles as small as 5 nm are observed in transmission electron microscopy (TEM), but may not constitute a significant volume fraction of the sample. Differential scanning calorimetry reveals, dramatic broadening in the temperatures over which melting and freezing occur and a surprising persistence of nanostructure after thermal cycling above the melting point of the Bi phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-799
Number of pages5
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrochemistry


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