Author(s) Jahangiri, S.; Mosey, N.J.
Journal Nanotechnology
Date Published 2018 Jan 12

Nickel hydroxide is a material composed of two-dimensional layers that can be rolled up to form cylindrical nanotubes belonging to a class of inorganic metal hydroxide nanotubes that are candidates for applications in catalysis, energy storage, and microelectronics. The stabilities and other properties of this class of inorganic nanotubes have not yet been investigated in detail. The present study uses self-consistent-charge density-functional tight-binding calculations to examine the stabilities, mechanical properties, and electronic properties of nickel hydroxide nanotubes along with the energetics associated with the adsorption of water by these systems. The tight-binding model was parametrized for this system based on the results of first-principles calculations. The stabilities of the nanotubes were examined by calculating strain energies and performing molecular dynamics simulations. The results indicate that single-walled nickel hydroxide nanotubes are stable at room temperature, which is consistent with experimental investigations. The nanotubes possess size-dependent mechanical properties that are similar in magnitude to those of other inorganic nanotubes. The electronic properties of the nanotubes were also found to be size-dependent and small nickel oxyhydroxide nanotubes are predicted to be semiconductors. Despite this size-dependence, both the mechanical and electronic properties were found to be almost independent of the helical structure of the nanotubes. The calculations also show that water molecules have higher adsorption energies when binding to the interior of the nickel hydroxide nanotubes when compared to adsorption in nanotubes formed from other two-dimensional materials such as graphene. The increased adsorption energy is due to the hydrophilic nature of nickel hydroxide. Due to the broad applications of nickel hydroxide, the nanotubes investigated here are also expected to be used in catalysis, electronics, and clean energy production.

DOI 10.1088/1361-6528/aa981a
ISSN 1361-6528
Citation Nanotechnology. 2018;29(2):025708.

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