Capacitively coupled nonthermal plasma synthesis of aluminum nanocrystals for enhanced yield and size control

Thomas Cameron, Bailey Klause, Himashi Andaraarachchi, Zichang Xiong, Carter Reed, Dinesh Thapa, Chi-Chin Wu, Uwe r Kortshagen

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2 Scopus citations


Uniform-size, non-native oxide-passivated metallic aluminum nanoparticles (Al NPs) have desirable properties for fuel applications, battery components, plasmonics, and hydrogen catalysis. Nonthermal plasma-assisted synthesis of Al NPs was previously achieved with an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) reactor, but the low production rate and limited tunability of particle size were key barriers to the applications of this material. This work focuses on the application of capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) to achieve improved control over Al NP size and a ten-fold increase in yield. In contrast with many other materials, where NP size is controlled via the gas residence time in the reactor, the Al NP size appeared to depend on the power input to the CCP system. The results indicate that the CCP reactor assembly, with a hydrogen-rich argon/hydrogen plasma, was able to produce Al NPs with diameters that were tunable between 8 and 21 nm at a rate up ∼ 100 mg h−1. X-ray diffraction indicates that a hydrogen-rich environment results in crystalline metal Al particles. The improved synthesis control of the CCP system compared to the ICP system is interpreted in terms of the CCP’s lower plasma density, as determined by double Langmuir probe measurements, leading to reduced NP heating in the CCP that is more amenable to NP nucleation and growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number395601
Pages (from-to)395601
Issue number39
StatePublished - Sep 24 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • aluminium nanoparticles
  • aluminum nanoparticles
  • capacitively coupled plasma
  • double Langmuir probe
  • halogenated precursor
  • metal nanoparticles
  • nonthermal plasma synthesis

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