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Atomic structural evolution during the reduction of α-Fe2O3 nanowires



Wenhui Zhu, Jonathan P. Winterstein, Itai Maimon, Qiyue Yin, Lu Yuan, Aleksey N. Kolmogorov, Renu Sharma, Guangwen Zhou


The atomic-scale reduction mechanism of α-Fe2O3 nanowires by H2 was followed using transmission electron microscopy to reveal the evolution of atomic structures and the associated transformation pathways for different iron oxides. The reduction commences with the generation of oxygen vacancies that order onto every 10th 3030 } plane. This vacancy ordering is followed by an allotropic transformation of α-Fe2O3  γ-Fe2O3 along with the formation of Fe3O4 nanoparticles on the surface of the γ-Fe2O3 nanowire by a topotactic transformation process. These observations demonstrate that the partial reduction of α-Fe2O3 nanowires results in the formation of a unique hierarchical structure of hybrid oxides consisting of the parent oxide phase, γ-Fe2O3, as the one-dimensional wire and the Fe3O4 having the form of nanoparticles decorated on the parent oxide skeleton.
Journal of Physical Chemistry C


Iron oxide nanowires, redox reaction, Transmission electron microscopy


Zhu, W. , Winterstein, J. , Maimon, I. , Yin, Q. , Yuan, L. , Kolmogorov, A. , Sharma, R. and Zhou, G. (2016), Atomic structural evolution during the reduction of α-Fe2O3 nanowires, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, [online],, (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created June 19, 2016, Updated October 12, 2021