Synthesis of Al Nanopowders in an Anodic Arc
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Nanopowders of metals and metal oxides have been produced using an arc operated between a refractory rod anode and a hollow cathode (J. Haidar in A method and apparatus for production of material vapour, Australian Patent No. 756273, 1999). the arc attachment to the anode is through a small region of molten metal located at the tip of the rod anode. Heat from the arc evaporates the molten metal and the vapour is passed through the arc plasma before condensing into sub-micron particles downstream of the cathode. A precursor metal is continuously fed onto the tip of the anode to maintain the molten metal region and compensate for losses of materials due to evaporation. The particle size of the produced powder depends on the pressure in the arc chamber and for production of nanoparticles in the range below 100 nm we use a pressure of 100 torr. Aluminium has been used as a precursor material, leading to production of aluminium metal nanopowders when the arc is operated in argon and to aluminium oxide nanopowders for operation in air. For operation in air, the products are made of γ-Al2O3.
KeywordsPlasma Arc Nanopowder Aluminium Gamma-Al2O3
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