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Homogeneous Media Milling: Reactant-Assisted Mechanochemical Synthesis of Functionalized Nanoparticles from Malleable and Ductile Metals
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA AEROSPACE SYSTEMS DIRECTORATE
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A reactant-assisted mechanochemical method was used to produce copious nanoparticles from malleableductile metals, demonstrated here for aluminum, iron, and copper. Homogeneous Media Milling HMM generates metal nanoparticles via a reactant-accelerated wear process, where the reactant aids particle production by binding to the metal surfaces, enhancing particle production, and reducing the tendency toward mechanochemical cold welding. The mechanism is explored by comparing the effects of different types of solvents and solvent mixtures on the amount and type of particles produced. Particles were functionalized with oleic acid to aid in particle size separation, enhance dispersion in hydrocarbon solvents, and protect the particles from oxidation. For aluminum and iron, the result is air-stable particles, but for copper, the suspended particles are found to dissolve when exposed to air. Characterization was performed using electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Density functional theory was used to examine the nature of carboxylic acid binding to the aluminum surface, confirming the dominance of bridging bidentate binding.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE