Gas and Pressure Dependence for the Mean Size of Nanoparticles Produced by Laser Ablation of Flowing Aerosols
- Cite this article as:
- Nichols, W.T., Malyavanatham, G., Henneke, D.E. et al. Journal of Nanoparticle Research (2000) 2: 141. doi:10.1023/A:1010014004508
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Silver nanoparticles were produced by laser ablation of a continuously flowing aerosol of microparticles entrained in argon, nitrogen and helium at a variety of gas pressures. Nanoparticles produced in this new, high-volume nanoparticle production technique are compared with our earlier experiments using laser ablation of static microparticles. Transmission electron micrographs of the samples show the nanoparticles to be spherical and highly non-agglomerated under all conditions tested. These micrographs were analyzed to determine the effect of carrier gas type and pressure on size distributions. We conclude that mean diameters can be controlled from 4 to 20 nm by the choice of gas type and pressure. The smallest nanoparticles were produced in helium, with mean sizes increasing with increasing molecular weight of the carrier gas. These results are discussed in terms of a model based on cooling via collisional interaction of the nanoparticles, produced in the laser exploded microparticle, with the ambient gas.