2001-070 – Low Power Plasma Production of Metallic Nanoparticles

The method includes generating an aerosolofsolidmetallicmicroparticles, generating non-oxidizingplasmawith aplasmahot zone at a temperature sufficiently high to vaporize the microparticles into metal vapor, and directing the aerosol into the hot zoneoftheplasma. The microparticles vaporize in the hot zone to metal vapor. The metal vapor is directed away from the hot zone and to theplasmaafterglow where it cools and condenses to form solidmetallicnanoparticles. It is believed that the metallic nanoparticles of the present invention are of a higher purity than metallic nanoparticles generated by PVD, evaporation, laser ablation, and other methods because the plasma torch generates a pure metallic vapor from the aerosol precursor without contaminants that generally are present in other sources of metallic vapor. It is also believed that the rate of production of nanoparticles using the present invention is at least as high and likely higher than rates of production using other methods for producing metallic nanoparticles. Andrew Roerick aroerick@innovations.unm.edu 505-277-0608

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