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vanadium boride is a hard, crystalline powder that has no odor. It is a white crystalline substance that is non-flammable and has a melting point of 2980°C. It is resistant to oxidation and has a high hardness and a good electrical conductivity. It can be used in the production of wear-resistant and semiconductor films. It is also a raw material for conductive ceramic materials.
It has been shown by X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and elemental analysis that phase-pure, nano sized vanadium boride can be formed by mechanical synthesis. Elemental vanadium and boron are combined in a 1:2 molar ratio and ball milled with tungsten carbide grinding media for 2 hours in a planetary mill. The resulting product is free of impurities including Mg and residual reactants. The milled powder is then leached in 10% HCl for approximately 1 hour to remove any remaining MgO. The as-milled product is then washed with deionized water and vacuum dried.
The nano-particulate vanadium boride can be used as the anode in an air multiple electron battery which is capable of being recharged. The air battery comprises an air cathode 101 to reduce oxygen molecules and an anode 102 made from the aforementioned vanadium boride. The anode and cathode are in electrochemical contact with each other through an electrolyte 103 which is an aqueous solution comprising a high concentration of hydroxide (KOH) or any other suitable ionic conductor material. The resulting cell exhibits a much higher discharge capacity than commercially available vanadium diboride.