Silicon Carbide Nanoparticles Produced by CO2 Laser Pyrolysis of SiH4/C2H2 Gas Mixtures in a Flow Reactor
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- Huisken, F., Kohn, B., Alexandrescu, R. et al. Journal of Nanoparticle Research (1999) 1: 293. doi:10.1023/A:1010081206959
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Pulsed CO2-laser-induced decomposition of different mixtures of SiH4 and C2H2 in a flow reactor has been employed to produce silicon carbide clusters and nanoparticles with varying content of carbon. The as-synthesized species were extracted from the reaction zone by a conical nozzle and expanded into the source chamber of a cluster beam apparatus where, after having traversed a differential chamber, they were analyzed with a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Thin films of silicon carbide nanoclusters were produced by depositing the clusters at low energy on potassium bromide and sapphire windows mounted into the differential chamber. At the same time, Si and SiC nanoparticles were collected in a filter placed into the exhaust line of the flow reactor. Both beam and powder samples were characterized by FTIR spectroscopy. The close resemblance of the spectra suggests that the composition of the beam and powder particles obtained during the same run is nearly identical. XRD spectroscopy could only be employed for the investigation of the powders. It was found that CO2 laser pyrolysis is ideally suited to produce silicon carbide nanoparticles with a high degree of crystallinity. Nanopowders produced from the pyrolysis of a stoichiometric (2:1) mixture of SiH4/C2H2 were found to contain particles or domains of pure silicon. The characteristic silicon features in the FTIR and XRD spectra, however, disappeared when C2H2 was applied in excess.