Nonaromatic Core-Shell Structure of Nanodiamond from Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy

TitleNonaromatic Core-Shell Structure of Nanodiamond from Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsFang X, Mao J, Levin EM, Schmidt-Rohr K
Journal TitleJournal of the American Chemical Society
Date PublishedFeb 4
ISBN Number0002-7863
Accession NumberISI:000264791800039
Keywordsc-13 nmr, carbon, chemical-shift, defects, diamond powder, nanoscale, nuclear-magnetic-resonance, organic-matter, proton, surface

The structure of synthetic nanodiamond has been characterized by C-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectral editing combined with measurements of long-range H-1-C-13 dipolar couplings and C-13 relaxation times. The surface layer of these similar to 4.8-nm diameter carbon particles consists mostly of sp(3)-hybridized C that is protonated or bonded to OH groups, while sp(2)-hybridized carbon makes up less than 1% of the material. The surface protons surprisingly resonate at 3.8 ppm, but their direct bonding to carbon is proved by fast dipolar dephasing under homonuclear decoupling. Long-range H-1-C-13 distance measurements, based on C-13{H-1} dipolar dephasing by surface protons, show that seven carbon layers, in a shell of 0.63 nm thickness that contains similar to 60% of all carbons, predominantly resonate more than +8 ppm from the 37-ppm peak of bulk diamond (i.e., within the 45-80 ppm range). Nitrogen detected in N-15 NMR spectra is mostly not protonated and can account for some of the high-frequency shift of carbon. The location of unpaired electrons (similar to 40 unpaired electrons per particle) was studied in detail, based on their strongly distance-dependent effects on T-1,T-C relaxation. The slower relaxation of the surface carbons, selected by spectral editing, showed that the unpaired electrons are not dangling bonds at the surface. This was confirmed by detailed simulations, which indicated that the unpaired electrons are mostly located in the disordered shell, at distances between 0.4 and 1 nm from the surface. On the basis of these results, a nonaromatic core-shell structural model of nanodiamond particles has been proposed.

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