Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of Nanolayer Carbides and Nitrides
We have combined the advantages of microwave processing of metal powders with the excellent gas-solid reactant contact of fluidized beds to prepare carbide and nitride nanolayers on early transition metals. Carbides and nitrides are promising catalysts because they are both technically and economically competitive with traditional noble metal catalysts for applications ranging from producing hydrogen for fuel cells to cleaning hydrocarbon fuels.1, 2 In this work, nanolayers of these compounds were prepared on transition metal powders by fluidizing the powders either alone in a reactant gas (e.g., nitrogen or ethylene) or together with carbon black in argon. The resulting products were characterized with several microscopy techniques and assessed for catalytic activity. The compounds that were prepared include Cr2N, MoN, Cr2C3, Mo2C, and WC. Of these products, Mo2C had the highest catalytic activity in the water-gas shift reaction.