Measuring stable clusters to understand particle inception will aid the synthesis of well-controlled nanoparticles via gas-phase aerosol routes. Using a Half Mini differential mobility analyzer, the presence of monomers, dimers, trimers, and tetramers was detected for the first time in a flame aerosol reactor during the synthesis of pristine TiO2 and TiO 2/SiO2 nanocomposites. Atomic force microscopy confirmed the presence and the size of sub-2 nm clusters. The detection of these clusters elucidated the initial stages of particle formation during combustion synthesis and supported previous hypotheses that collisional growth from stable monomers of metal oxides is the first step of particle growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry