On the Role of Built-in Electric Fields on the Ignition of Oxide Coated NanoAluminum: Ion Mobility versus Fickian Diffusion
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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Using the classical molecular dynamics method we simulate the mechanochemical behavior of small, core diameter 10 nm oxide coated aluminum nanoparticles. Aluminum nanoparticles with core diameters of approximately 5 and 8 nm are simulated with 1 and 2 nm thick oxide coatings or shells. In addition to thickness the shells are parametrized by varying degrees of crystallinity, density, and atomic ratios in order to study their effect on the ignition of nanoparticle oxidation. The oxide shells are parametrized to consider oxide coatings with the defects that commonly occur during the formation of an oxide layer and for comparison with a defect free crystalline oxide shell. Computed results include the diffusion coefficients of aluminum cations for each shell configuration and over a range of temperatures. The observed results are discussed and compared with the ignition mechanisms reported in the literature. From this effort we have found that the oxidation ignition mechanism for nanometer sized oxide coated aluminum particles is the result of an enhanced transport due to a built-in electric field induced by the oxide shell. This is in contrast to the currently assumed pressure driven diffusion process. This induced electric field accounts for approximately 90 of the mass flux of aluminum ions through the oxide shell. The computed electric fields show good agreement with published theoretical and experimental results.
- Physical Chemistry
- Properties of Metals and Alloys