Antimony-doped tin oxide (ATO) materials have many interesting and useful properties for industrial applications. Important uses of ATO include anti-static pigments, catalysts, electrochromic devices, solar cells, gas sensors, etc. Although the electro-optical and the structural properties of ATO materials with low dopant levels have been extensively investigated,the fundamental structural/chemical properties of heavily doped ATO materials have not been well understood. We report here some preliminary results of a systematic study of the structural evolution of tin oxide nanopaiticles heavily doped with antimony.
The ATO powders were prepared by adding a mixture of antimony(V) chloride and tin(IV) chloride to deionised water with concurrent addition of sodium hydroxide. The resulting white precipitates were filtered, washed and dried at room temperature. A series of Sb-doped SnO2 samples was obtained by annealing the precipitates at various temperatures. Samples suitable for high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) were prepared by dry-dispersing ATO powders onto holey carbon films.