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Influence of Biofield Treatment on Physical, Structural and Spectral Properties of Boron Nitride

Journal:

Material Science & Engineering
Received June 18, 2014; Accepted July 13, 2015; Published July 23, 2015

Citation:

Trivedi MK, Patil S, Nayak G, Jana S, Latiyal O (2015) Influence of Biofield Treatment on Physical, Structural and Spectral Properties of Boron Nitride. J Material Sci Eng 4: 181. doi: 10.4172/2169-0022.1000181

Title:

Influence of Biofield Treatment on Physical, Structural and Spectral Properties of Boron Nitride

Manuscript Link:

http://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/influence-of-biofield-treatment-on-physical-structural-and-spectral-properties-of-boron-nitride-2169-0022-1000181.pdf

 

Abstract

Boron nitride (BN) is known for high hardness, thermal stability, thermal conductivity, and catalytic action. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of biofield treatment on physical, structural and spectral properties of BN powder. The control and treated sample of BN powder were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), surface area analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). XRD results indicated that biofield treatment had substantially changed the crystallinity of BN powder as compared to control. Apart from the crystallinity, significant changes were also observed in lattice parameter, density and molecular weight of the treated BN powder as compared to control sample. The XRD data confirmed 33.30% increase crystallite size in treated BN powder as compared to control. The surface area data showed 10.33% increment in surface area of treated BN as compared to control. Furthermore, FT-IR spectra revealed that some part of BN may be transformed from hexagonal BN (h-BN) to rhombohedral boron nitride (r-BN), which was corroborated by emergence of new prominent peaks at 1388 cm-1 in treated BN as compared to control sample. These findings suggest that biofield treatment has substantially altered the structural properties and surface area of treated BN powder.

Keywords: Biofield treatment; Boron nitride; X-ray diffraction; FT- IR; Surface area

Introduction

Boron nitride (BN) is a well-known ceramic material with fascinating properties, such as low density, high melting point, strength, corrosion resistance, and good chemical stability, excellent electrical and thermal properties. These properties make boron nitride a promising material for a wide range of industrial applications, especially for its uses under extreme high temperature conditions [1-3]. The BN originally exists in several crystal structures such as wurtzite BN (w-BN), cubic BN (c- BN), rhombohedral BN (r-BN), hexagonal BN (h-BN), explosive BN (e-BN), and turbostratic BN (t-BN). The c-BN and w-BN are especially known for super-hardness, wide band gap and its oxidation resistance which makes them a promising material for fabrication of cutting tools, protective coatings, and optoelectronic devices [4,5].

Nevertheless, the h-BN has similar crystal structure to graphite hence it is also known as white graphite [6,7]. This crystal structure provides the outstanding lubricating properties, high thermal conductivity, electrical resistance and low dielectric constant [4,8,9]. Recently, BN is synthesized with various morphologies, such as hollow spheres [10], porous structures [11], and one-dimensional nanostructures to obtained excellent properties [12,13]. The porous BN has gain significant attention due to its high specific surface area, which makes it a promising material for catalytic action. The porous BN has been synthesized by using various methods such as molecular precursors, and supercritical drying method etc [14-17]. However, all these methods require either special precursor or high temperature conditions to modulate the specific surface area and crystal structure. In physics, the energy is considered as the ability to do work; which fundamentally interrelates with matter as E=mc2 (Einstein’s famous equation). However the energy can be considered as a field of force which effectively interacts with any matter at a distance and cause action.

Researchers have confirmed that biomagnetic fields are present around human body, which have been evidenced by electromyography (EMG), electrocardiography (ECG) and electroencephalogram (EEG) [18]. Scientists have postulated that it is due to the flow of bioelectricity (generated from heart, brain functions or due to the motion of charged particles such as protons, electrons, and ions) in the human body. As per the basic fundamental law in physics, when an electrical signal passes through any material, a magnetic field is generated in the surrounding space. Hence, a magnetic field is created along with the bioelectricity in human body, known as biomagnetic field. The cumulative field created by bioelectricity and biomagnetic field, which surrounding the human body is known as biofield. The energy associated with this field is considered as biofield energy.

Mr. Mahendra K Trivedi’s biofield has known to alter the characteristics in various things at atomic, molecular and physical level in many fields such as material science [19-26], microbiology [27-29], biotechnology [30,31] and agriculture [32-34]. The biofield treatment has also shown significant results in graphite carbon, for instance, the unit cell volume was decrease by 1% and crystallite size was increased by 100% after treatment [20]. In the present study, we report for the first time, an impact of biofield treatment on BN powder for its structural properties along with atomic and physical properties.

Experimental

The BN powder was purchased from Sigma Aldrich, USA. The sample was equally divided into two parts, one part was considered as control and other part was exposed to Mr. Trivedi’s biofield, herein referred as biofield treatment. The control and treated samples were characterized using X-ray Diffraction (XRD), surface area analyzer, and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy.

X-ray diffraction study

For X-ray diffraction study the treated sample was divided into four parts, coded as T1, T2, T3, and T4 respectively. The XRD analysis was performed on X-ray diffractometer Phillips, Holland PW 1710 system with a copper anode with nickel filter and wavelength of radiation of 1.54056 Å. The data provided by XRD system was in the form of a chart of 2θ vs. intensity and a table containing peak intensity counts, d value (Å), peak width (θ°), and relative intensity (%) etc. For computing lattice parameter and unit cell volume, PowderX software was used.

Crystallite size (G) was calculated using following equation:
G=kλ/(bCosθ),

Where k is the equipment constant (0.94) and λ is the wavelength of radiation (1.54056 Å). The molecular weight of a molecule is the sum of the atomic weight of all atoms and the atomic weight is the sum of the total weight of protons, neutrons and electrons present in an atom. Since the number of molecules in a unit cell is fixed so the weight of the unit cell was computed as, number of molecules present in a unit cell multiplied by the molecular weight. The density was calculated as weight of the unit cell divided by volume of the unit cell. The percent change in lattice parameter “a” was calculated by using following equation:

Percent change in lattice parameter = [(at-ac)/ac] x100

Where ac and at are lattice parameter of control and treated powder samples respectively. The percentage change in all other parameters such as unit cell volume, density, and crystallite size was calculated in a similar manner.

Surface area analysis

The surface area was characterized using surface area analyzer, SMART SORB 90 BET, which had a detection range of 0.1-1000 m2/g.

Infrared Spectroscopy

FT-IR analysis of control and treated samples T1, T2 was carried out on Shimadzu, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometer with frequency range of 300-4000/cm.

Results and Discussion
X-ray Diffraction (XRD)

The XRD patterns of control and treated BN powder are shown in Figure 1a-1e. The XRD diffractogram of control BN samples showed diffraction peaks at 2θ = 26.81o, 41.59o, 50.10o, and 55.13o. The XRD of treated BN sample showed peaks as, T1: 2θ = 26.75o, 41.60o, 50.16o, 55.11o; T2: 2θ = 26.73o, 41.57o, 50.10o, 55.11o; T3: 2θ = 26.70o, 41.51o, 55.06o, 55.05o; T4: 2θ=26.74o, 41.57o, 50.14o, 55.11o. These four peaks in control and treated samples were attributed to the crystalline planes (002), (100), (102) and (004), which were in agreement with Joint Committee on Powder Diffraction Standards (JCPDS) card no. 34-0421[35]. These peaks confirmed the hexagonal crystal structure of BN (h-BN) in all the control and treated samples. The intensity of diffraction peaks along plane (002) was reduced in treated BN sample (T2 and T4), which indicated that crystallinity was decreased after biofield treatment (Figure 1c and 1e). The XRD data was analyzed using PowderX software to calculate lattice parameter, unit cell volume, density, molecular weight and crystallite size, which are presented in Table 1. It was found that the lattice parameter of the unit cell was increased in treated sample T2 by 0.16% after treatment (Figure 2) as compared to control. A positive lattice strain in treated BN samples indicated that a tensile stress may be applied over the unit cell [24]. This may led to increase the unit cell volume by 0.33% and reduced density by 0.33% in treated BN samples as compared to control.

1a

Figure 1a: XRD pattern of control BN sample.

1a

Figure 1b: XRD pattern of biofield treated BN sample T1.

1a

Figure 1c: XRD pattern of biofield treated BN sample T2.

1a

Figure 1d: XRD pattern of biofield treated BN sample T3.

1a

Figure 1e: XRD pattern of biofield treated BN sample T4.

  Lattice Parameter (Å) Unit cell volume 
(×10-23cm3)
Density
(g/cc)
Molecular Weight
(g/mol)
Crystallite Size
(nm)
Control sample 2.5040 3.6121 2.318 25.21 35.44
Treated T1 2.5046 3.6137 2.317 25.23 38.65
Treated T2 2.5064 3.6191 2.313 25.26 35.43
Treated T3 2.5081 3.6240 2.310 25.30 47.24
Treated T4 2.5054 3.6160 2.315 25.24 47.24

Table 1: X-ray diffraction (XRD) of lattice parameter, unit cell volume, density, molecular weight and crystallite size of BN sample.

1a

Figure 2: Percentage change in lattice parameter and volume of unit cell of treated BN as compared to control.

Furthermore, when tensile stress was applied on the atoms of BN, the electron cloud, around the nucleus moved away from the centre that may led to increased atomic size [19]. Consequently, the increased atomic size may reduce the nuclear charge per unit volume. Furthermore, it was observed that the molecular weight in treated BN samples were increased up to 0.33% as compared to control (Figure 3). The reduction in nuclear charge per unit volume and increased molecular weight suggested that the number of protons were probably decreased in treated BN powder. It can be possible only when protons are participating in reversible weak nuclear reactions giving rise to neutrinos and neutrons [21-23,36]. Additionally, it was found that the crystallite size was increased up to 33.30% in treated BN sample as compared to control (Figure 4). It is possible that the internal strains present in treated BN powder made dislocations to move unhindered that results into reorient the planes on either side of the crystallite boundaries. Further, this reorientation of planes may led to increase the crystallite size [25]. Al-Jawhari et al. (2011) reported that the crystallite size have direct relationship with dielectric constant [17]. Moreover, the dependence of dielectric constant on the crystallite size has been reported by researchers on other materials such as diamond, TiO2 and Bi2O3 [37-39], where it was mentioned that dielectric constant increases as crystallite size increases. Thus, it is hypothesized that the biofield treatment may enhance the dielectric constant of BN powder.

Figure 3

Figure 3: Percentage change in lattice parameter and volume of unit cell in biofield treated BN as compared to control.

Figure 4: Percentage change in crystallite size of biofield treated BN powder as compared to control.

Figure 4: Percentage change in crystallite size of biofield treated BN powder as compared to control.

Figure 5: Percentage change in surface area of biofield treated BN powder as compared to control.

Figure 5: Percentage change in surface area of biofield treated BN powder as compared to control.

 

Surface Area (m2/g)

% change in Surface Area

Control

3.68

Treated T1

4.06

10.22

Treated T2

3.84

4.25

Treated T3

4.06

10.33

Table 2: Surface area of control and treated BN samples.

Surface area analysis

The surface area analysis of control and treated BN powder is presented in Figure 5 and Table 2. It was found that the specific surface area was increased by 10.22%, 4.25% and 10.33% in treated BN samples T1, T2 and T3, respectively as compared to control. This was probably due to the reduction in particle size through high internal strain and energy milling provided by biofield treatment. Furthermore, it is postulated that high energy milling may produce the porosity over the particle surface through surface grinding and internal friction. Hence, this higher porosity may result in large surface area in treated BN powder as compared to control [15,16]. Moreover, this increased surface area would be helpful to confer better performance during catalytic applications.

FT-IR spectroscopy

Figure 6-7 shows the FT-IR spectra of control and treated BN powder. The absorption peaks near 1340 cm-1 was attributed to E1u in plane sp2 bonded B-N stretching vibrations and the peak at 817 cm-1 was corresponded to A1u out of plane B-N-B bonding vibrations in the control BN powder [35]. The treated sample T1 (Figure 6) showed absorption peaks at around 923/cm which was attributed to the presence of e-BN along with h-BN in control and treated (T1 and T2) powder (Figure 6,7). One interesting absorption peak was observed in IR spectrum of treated sample (T2) at 1124/cm (Figure 7) which was mainly due to presence of w-BN, however this peak was absent in control sample [40]. It revealed that some amount of h-BN may be transformed into w-BN due to biofield treatment. The FT-IR spectrum of control sample showed an absorption peak at around 1340/cm and interestingly two peaks were found at 1388/cm and 1356/cm in treated sample (T2). The emergence of new absorption peak at 1388/cm could be due to the presence of r-BN [35]. It is postulated that the h-BN unit cell was distorted to form r-BN unit cell, which may be due to applied tensile stress during high energy milling through biofield treatment. Based on these results, it is assumed that, biofield treatment could be an alternative technique to modulate the physical and atomic characteristic in BN powder for optoelectronic and chemical industries.

1a

Figure 6: FT-IR spectrum of control and biofield treated BN powder sample (T1).

1a

Figure 7: FT-IR spectrum of control and biofield treated BN powder sample (T2).

Conclusion

Present study, concludes that the biofield treatment has significantly changed the atomic and crystal structural characteristics of BN powder. XRD data confirmed that the crystallite size was significantly increased up to 33.3% in treated BN powder as compared to control, which may directly increase the dielectric constant. Furthermore, the FT-IR results revealed that h-BN crystal structure may be transformed into r-BN after biofield treatment. The higher surface area in treated BN was found as compared to control, indicating that it could be more useful during the catalytic reaction.  Based on these promising results, it is expected that biofield treatment could be applied to improve the catalytic and optoelectronic  properties of BN powder.

Acknowledgement

Authors gratefully acknowledged to Dr. Cheng Dong of NLSC, Institute of Physics, and Chinese academy of Sciences for providing the facilities to use PowderX software for analyzing XRD data.

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