Synthesis of nanoparticles in an atmospheric pressure glow discharge
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Nanopowders are produced in a low temperature, non-equilibrium plasma jet (APPJ), which produces a glow discharge at atmospheric pressure, for the first time. Amorphous carbon and iron nanoparticles have been synthesized from Acetylene and Ferrocene/H2, respectively. High generation rates are achieved from the glow discharge at near-ambient temperature (40–80°C), and rise with increasing plasma power and precursor concentration. Fairly narrow particle size distributions are measured with a differential mobility analyzer (DMA) and an aerosol electrometer (AEM), and are centered around 30–35 nm for carbon and 20–25 nm for iron. Particle characteristics analyzed by TEM and EDX reveal amorphous carbon and iron nanoparticles. The Fe particles are highly oxidized on exposure to air. Comparison of the mobility and micrograph diameters reveal that the particles are hardly agglomerated or unagglomerated. This is ascribed to the unipolar charge on particles in the plasma. The generated particle distributions are examined as a function of process parameters.
Key words:nanoparticle production glow discharge atmospheric pressure plasma non-equilibrium plasma iron nanoparticles
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The authors would like to thank Dr. P. J. Kooyman for preparing all the TEM micrographs presented in this article.
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