The development of a low-cost, fast, and large-scale process for the synthesis and manipulation of nanostructured metal oxides is essential for incorporating materials with diverse practical applications. Herein, we present a facile one-pot synthesis method using combustion waves that simultaneously achieves fast reduction and direct formation of carbon coating layers on metal oxide nanostructures. Hybrid composites of Fe2 O3 nanoparticles and nitrocellulose on the cm scale were fabricated by a wet impregnation process. We demonstrated that self-propagating combustion waves along interfacial boundaries between the surface of the metal oxide and the chemical fuels enabled the release of oxygen from Fe2 O3. This accelerated reaction directly transformed Fe2 O3 into Fe3O4 nanostructures. The distinctive color change from reddish-brown Fe2 O3 to dark-gray Fe3O4 confirmed the transition of oxidation states and the change in the fundamental properties of the material. Furthermore, it simultaneously formed carbon layers of 5-20 nm thickness coating the surfaces of the resulting Fe 3 O 4 nanoparticles, which may aid in maintaining the nanostructures and improving the conductivity of the composites. This newly developed use of combustion waves in hybridized nanostructures may permit the precise manipulation of the chemical compositions of other metal oxide nanostructures, as well as the formation of organic/inorganic hybrid nanostructures.
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