In situ Imaging of Ultra-fast Loss of Nanostructure in Nanoparticle Aggregates
MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK
Pagination or Media Count:
The word nanoparticle nominally elicits a vision of an isolated sphere however, the vast bulk of nanoparticulate material exists in an aggregated state. This can have significant implications for applications such as combustion, catalysis, and optical excitation, where particles are exposed to high temperature and rapid heating conditions. In such environments, particles become susceptible to morphological changes which can reduce surface area, often to the detriment of functionality. Here, we report on thermally-induced coalescence which can occur in aluminum nanoparticle aggregates subjected to rapid heating 1000000 10 to the 11th power Ks. Using dynamic transmission electron microscopy, we observed morphological changes in nanoparticle aggregates occurring in as little as a few nanoseconds after the onset of heating. The time-resolved probes reveal that the morphological changes initiate within 15 ns and are completed in less than 50 ns. The morphological changes were found to have a threshold temperature of about 1300 - 50K, as determined by millisecond-scale experiments with a calibrated heating stage. The temperature distribution of aggregates during laser heating was modeled with various simulation approaches. The results indicate that, under rapid heating conditions, coalescence occurs at an intermediate temperature between the melting points of aluminum and the aluminum oxide shell, and proceeds rapidly once this threshold temperature is reached.
- Miscellaneous Materials