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Nucleation of titanium nanoparticles in an oxygen-starved environment. I: experiments
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Plasma and Coating Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Plasma and Coating Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. KTH Royal Inst Technol, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Plasma and Coating Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6602-7981
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Plasma and Coating Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1744-7322
2018 (English)In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, ISSN 0022-3727, E-ISSN 1361-6463, Vol. 51, no 45, article id 455201Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A constant supply of oxygen has been assumed to be necessary for the growth of titanium nanoparticles by sputtering. This oxygen supply can arise from a high background pressure in the vacuum system or from a purposely supplied gas. The supply of oxygen makes it difficult to grow metallic nanoparticles of titanium and can cause process problems by reacting with the target. We here report that growth of titanium nanoparticles in the metallic hexagonal titanium (alpha Ti) phase is possible using a pulsed hollow cathode sputter plasma and adding a high partial pressure of helium to the process instead of trace amounts of oxygen. The helium cools the process gas in which the nanoparticles nucleate. This is important both for the first dimer formation and the continued growth to a thermodynamically stable size. The parameter region, inside which the synthesis of nanoparticles is possible, is mapped out experimentally and the theory of the physical processes behind this process window is outlined. A pressure limit below which no nanoparticles were produced was found at 200 Pa, and could be attributed to a low dimer formation rate, mainly caused by a more rapid dilution of the growth material. Nanoparticle production also disappeared at argon gas flows above 25 sccm. In this case, the main reason was identified as a gas temperature increase within the nucleation zone, giving a too high evaporation rate from nanoparticles (clusters) in the stage of growth from dimers to stable nuclei. These two mechanisms are in depth explored in a companion paper. A process stability limit was also found at low argon gas partial pressures, and could be attributed to a transition from a hollow cathode discharge to a glow discharge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOP PUBLISHING LTD , 2018. Vol. 51, no 45, article id 455201
Keywords [en]
nanoparticles; nucleation; titanium; experiments
National Category
Inorganic Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-152041DOI: 10.1088/1361-6463/aae117ISI: 000446352300001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-152041DiVA, id: diva2:1259456
Note

Funding Agencies|Knut and Alice Wallenberg foundation [KAW 2014.0276]; Swedish Research Council under the Linkoping Linneaus Environment-LiLi-NFM [2008-6572]; Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Functional Materials at Linkoping University (Faculty Grant SFO Mat LiU) [2009 00971]; Swedish Research Council [2016-05137_4]

Available from: 2018-10-29 Created: 2018-10-29 Last updated: 2018-12-10

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