Kinetics of sub-2 nm TiO2 particle formation in an aerosol reactor during thermal decomposition of titanium tetraisopropoxide

Yang Wang, Pai Liu, Jiaxi Fang, Wei Ning Wang, Pratim Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Particle size distribution measurements from differential mobility analyzers (DMAs) can be utilized to study particle formation mechanisms. However, knowledge on the initial stages of particle formation is incomplete, since in conventional DMAs, the Brownian broadening effect limits their ability to measure sub-2 nm-sized particles. Previous studies have demonstrated the capability of high-flow DMAs, such as the Half Mini DMAs, to measure sub-2 nm particles with significantly higher resolutions than conventional DMAs. A Half Mini DMA was applied to study the kinetics of sub-2 nm TiO2 nanoparticle formation in a furnace aerosol reactor, through the thermal decomposition of titanium tetraisopropoxide (TTIP). The influence of parameters such as reaction temperature, residence time, precursor concentration, and the introduction of bipolar charges on sub-2 nm particle size distributions were studied. A first order reaction rate derived from the dependence of size distributions on reaction temperature matched well with existing literature data. The change in precursor residence time and precursor concentration altered the size distributions correspondingly, indicating the occurrence of TTIP thermal decomposition. The introduction of bipolar charges in aerosol reactors enhanced the consumption of reactants, possibly due to ion-induced nucleation and induced dipole effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Differential mobility analyzer (DMA)
  • Furnace aerosol reactor
  • Particle formation and growth
  • Size distribution
  • Sub-2 nm particles
  • Titanium tetraisopropoxide (TTIP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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