We report a nanoscale synthesis technique using nanosecond-duration plasma discharges. Voltage pulses 12.5 kV in amplitude and 40 ns in duration were applied repetitively at 30 kHz across molybdenum electrodes in open ambient air, generating a nanosecond spark discharge that synthesized well-defined MoO 3 nanoscale architectures (i.e. flakes, dots, walls, porous networks) upon polyamide and copper substrates. No nitrides were formed. The energy cost was as low as 75 eV per atom incorporated into a nanostructure, suggesting a dramatic reduction compared to other techniques using atmospheric pressure plasmas. These findings show that highly efficient synthesis at atmospheric pressure without catalysts or external substrate heating can be achieved in a simple fashion using nanosecond discharges.
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