SUBSTRATE-BASED FLAME SYNTHESIS OF NANOMATERIALS
Stephen D. Tse
Versatile and robust, flame synthesis is a rapid and effective technology for fabricating a wide range of nanomaterials. Compared to traditional methods, flame synthesis offers increased growth rates, high purity and yield, low manufacturing costs, and the capability to synthesize continuously a variety of nanostructured morphologies and compositions in minutes versus hours or even days. Flame synthesis can produce a multitude of nanomaterial morphologies (from zero-dimensional nanoparticles to one-dimensional nanotubes/nanowires to two-dimensional graphene to higher-dimensional structures such as nanolayered and nanoporous films) and compositions (mainly in carbon-based or oxide form). Despite the immense potential of flame synthesis, commercial application is still in its infancy, with limited technology transfer from the laboratory to industry. The current challenge is gaining improved understanding of how to control size, morphology, and composition of nanomaterials reproducibly and in scaled production. The governing aspects such as chemistry, transport, and residence time are interconnected with heat transfer processes, which, when properly understood and strategically controlled, will allow for manufacturing scale-up, making flame-based fabrication of functional nanomaterials commercially advantageous. In this chapter, we focus on describing various developments of flame synthesis of nanomaterials on substrates, rather than on the already-established production-scale manufacture of nanopowders using flame-aerosol technology. Different burner configurations and key processing parameters, along with the heat transfer aspects influencing them, will be discussed for the specific nanomaterials being synthesized. In situ laser-based diagnostics for the characterization of the flame synthesis flow field and the nanomaterials themselves are also presented, with emphasis on determining fundamental mechanisms, as well as possible use as in situ monitoring with feedback control of input parameters for reproducible production of tailored nanomaterials.
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