Process scale-up considerations for non-thermal atmospheric-pressure plasma synthesis of nanoparticles by homogenous nucleation

Jonathan Cole, Yao Zhang, Tianqi Liu, Chang Jun Liu, R. Mohan Sankaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Scale-up of non-thermal atmospheric-pressure plasma reactors for the synthesis of nanoparticles by homogeneous nucleation is challenging because the active volume is typically reduced to facilitate gas breakdown, enhance discharge stability, and limit particle size and agglomeration, but thus limits throughput. Here, we introduce a dielectric barrier discharge reactor consisting of a coaxial electrode geometry for nanoparticle production that enables a simple scale-up strategy whereby increasing the outer and inner electrode diameters, the plasma volume is increased approximately linearly, while maintaining a sufficiently small electrode gap to maintain the electric field strength. We show with two test reactors that for a given residence time, the nanoparticle production rate increases linearly with volume over a range of precursor concentrations, while having minimal effect on the shape of the particle size distribution. However, our study also reveals that increasing the total gas flow rate in a smaller volume reactor leads to an enhancement of precursor conversion and a comparable production rate to a larger volume reactor. These results suggest that scale-up requires better understanding of the influence of reactor geometry on particle growth dynamics and may not always be a simple function of reactor volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number304001
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume50
Issue number30
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 7 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • dielectric barrier discharge
  • dusty plasma
  • homogeneous nucleation
  • microplasma
  • nanoparticle
  • plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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