A great variety of metal oxide nanoparticles have been readily synthesized by using alkali metal oxides, M(2)O (M is Na or Li) and soluble metal salts (metal chlorides) in polar organic solutions, for example, methanol and ethanol, at room temperature. The oxidation states of the metals in the resulting metal oxides (Cu(2)O, CuO, ZnO, Al(2)O(3), Fe(2)O(3), Bi(2)O(3), TiO(2), SnO(2), CeO(2), Nb(2)O(5), WO(3), and CoFe(2)O(4)) range from 1 to 6 and remain invariable through the reactions where good control of stoichiometry is achieved. Metal oxide nanoparticles are 1-30 nm and have good monodispersivity and displayed comparable optical spectra. These syntheses are based on a general ion reaction pathway during which the precipitate occurs when O(2-) ions meet metal cations (M(n+)) in anhydrous solution and the reaction equation is M(n+) + n/2 O(2-) --> MO(n/2) (n=1-6).
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