Combined synthesis and in situ coating of nanoparticles in the gas phase
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Combined gas phase synthesis and coating of sodium chloride (NaCl) and lactose nanoparticles has been developed using an aerosol flow reactor. Nano-sized core particles were produced by the droplet-to-particle method and coated in situ by the physical vapour deposition of L-leucine vapour. The saturation of L-leucine in the reactor determined the resulting particle size and size distribution. In general, particle size increased with the addition of L-leucine and notable narrowing of the core particle size distribution was observed. In addition, homogeneous nucleation of the vapour, i.e. formation of pure L-leucine particles, was observed depending on the saturation conditions of L-leucine as well as the core particle characteristics. The effects of core particle properties, i.e. size and solid-state characteristics, on the coating process were studied by comparing the results for coated NaCl and lactose particles. During deposition, L-leucine formed a uniform coating on the surface of the core particles. The coating stabilised the nanoparticles and prevented the sintering of particles during storage.