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The chemical formula for nickel iii sulfide is Ni3S2. Nickel sulfide is an important metallurgical material used in lithium batteries, in the form of cathode materials. As such, the search for a cost effective production process of sulfide nanocrystals is critical to the advancement of lithium batteries in electric and hybrid cars.

This article focuses on a new route to the synthesis of nickel sulfide involving the use of an organic compound known as ethylene glycol tetrahydrate (EGT). The EGT was reacted with nickel acetate tetrahydrate under hydrofluoric acid (HF) conditions to produce complex (2a-c). X-ray powder diffraction patterns showed that all the samples yielded nanosized NiS, with the indexed peak at 2 = 22° corresponding to the crystalline structure of Ni3S4. The synthesis carried out in presence of EDTA and TEA (molar ratio 1:1, 1 h sonication time) gave black precipitates with poor nickel recovery, whereas the synthesis without any complexing agent yielded pure NiS in high percentage (75.3%).

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was also performed to trace the different chemical states of the elements after sulfuration. The broad S 2p XPS peak was fitted into four peaks, corresponding to the S 2p 3/2 and S 2p 2p orbitals of divalent sulfide (S2-), as well as to two bridging sulfides (S22-). The molar ratio calculated from the S2-/S22- ratio reveals that the sulfide peaks coexist in the NiS phase, and the metallic and oxidized nickel is present in equal amounts.

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