Synthesis and Characterization of Niobium Carbide with Copper Addition Obtained Via Gas Solid Reaction

The use of niobium containing materials' has gained much attention of the scientific community in the late years due its various applications in diverse fields. NbC is a highly versatile material. Copper addition may alter several of its properties, such as morphology, crystal structure etc. as well as enhance its catalytic behavior. Nanostructured NbC with copper addition synthesis' presented here had the precursor [(NH4)3[NbO(C2O4)3]xH2O] as starting material, which was doped with Cu(NO3)2 at 5% and 10% (molar) ratios. Doped NbC was obtained via gas solid reaction in fixed bed reactor at lower temperature (980°C) and with shorter reaction time (2h) than traditional methods. Reaction products' were characterized by XRD, crystal sizes were estimated according to HWL method, and SEM, XRF, BET and laser particle size analysis were performed. XRD indicated the formation of NbC and Cu phases with cubic crystal structure of ~20nm. SEM showed slight morphological change upon increasing copper content, indicating a less porous structure, which is consistent with BET data (43.7m2/g for 5%Cu-NbC and 37m 2/g for the 10% Cu-NbC). Crystal size calculations showed that increasing dopant content particle sizes were also increased, probably due to the presence of the dopant, in some extent, in the crystal structure.