Inductively coupled nonthermal plasma synthesis of aluminum nanoparticles

Chad A Beaudette, Himashi P Andaraarachchi, Chi-chin Wu, Uwe R Kortshagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metallic nanoparticles of aluminum (Al), a nontoxic and earth-abundant element, are relevant to plasmonic and energetic applications. However, monodisperse Al nanoparticles are difficult to synthesize using all gas-phase approaches, especially in the 10 to 20 nm size range; yet, many applications require particles of this size due to their enhanced properties. Here, an inductive nonthermal plasma reactor fed with aluminum trichloride (AlCl3) and Ar is used to synthesize single-crystal aluminum nanoparticles. The particles can be produced with or without hydrogen. Several reactor conditions such as AlCl3 vapor concentration, flow rates, and power are found to strongly influence particle properties such as the oxide shell thickness, particle mono-dispersity, and particle size. Significant quantities of Ar relative to AlCl3, short residence times of 10 s of ms, and pressures in excess of 4.7 Torr are required to form Al particles with geometric mean sizes of 10-20 nm and geometric standard deviations as low as 1.3. While the Al nanoparticles are covered with 2-4 nm thick oxide shells, the best synthesis conditions yield particle sizes determined by electron microscopy that are comparable to crystallite sizes determined from x-ray diffraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number395601
Pages (from-to)395601
Issue number39
StatePublished - Jul 6 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • aerosol
  • aluminum
  • nanoparticle
  • nonthermal plasma
  • synthesis
  • vapor phase

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

  • Shared

Reporting period for MRSEC

  • Period 2

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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