Exfoliation and europium(III)-functionalization of α-titanium phosphate via propylamine intercalation: from multilayer assemblies to single nanosheets

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Layered α-titanium phosphate intercalated with propylamine, Ti(HPO4)2·2C3H7NH2·H2O (α-TiPPr), has been synthesized by solid-vapour reaction and then exfoliated via a single-stage approach based on overnight stirring in aqueous medium. The obtained nanosheets were then functionalized using solid–liquid reaction with europium(III) nitrate aqueous solutions. The obtained materials were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), N2 adsorption–desorption isotherms at 77 K, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM, SAED, STEM-EDX), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL). The europium(III) sorption takes place via two distinct pathways, the first is the previously reported C3H7NH3+/[Eu(H2O)6]3+ ion-exchange process into the titanium–phosphate interlayer space of the multilayered α-TiPPr. The second pathway is the self-assembly of single-sheets which is provoked by electrostatic interactions between the negatively charged titanium–phosphate sheets and the Eu(III)-aqueous cations, leading to the formation of layered nanoparticles.

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Financial support from Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MAT2013-40950-R and MAT2016-78155-C2-1-R) and Gobierno del Principado de Asturias (GRUPIN14-060), and FEDER funding are acknowledged. The authors acknowledge the help of the technical scientist, in particular, Beatriz Ramajo Escalera, at the Scientific and Technical Services, University of Oviedo, Spain.

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Correspondence to Zakariae Amghouz.

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Dedicated to Prof. Abraham Clearfield, a luminary in the field of materials science for more than 60 years, on his 90th birthday.

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García-Glez, J., Trobajo, C., Adawy, A. et al. Exfoliation and europium(III)-functionalization of α-titanium phosphate via propylamine intercalation: from multilayer assemblies to single nanosheets. Adsorption 26, 241–250 (2020).

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  • Titanium phosphate
  • Propylamine
  • Exfoliation
  • Europium
  • Luminescence