Theoretical study of nanoparticle formation in thermal plasma processing Nucleation, coagulation and aggregation
Mendoza Gonzalez, Norma Yadira
This work presents a mathematical modeling study of the synthesis of nanoparticles in radio frequency (RF) inductively coupled plasma (ICP) reactors. The purpose is to further investigate the influence of process parameters on the final size and morphology of produced particles. The proposed model involves the calculation of flow and temperature fields of the plasma gas. Evaporation of raw particles is also accounted with the particle trajectory and temperature history calculated with a Lagrangian approach. The nanoparticle formation is considered by homogeneous nucleation and the growth is caused by condensation and Brownian coagulation. The growth of fractal aggregates is considered by introducing a power law exponent Df. Transport of nanoparticles occurs by convection, thermophoresis and Brownian diffusion. The method of moments is used to solve the particle dynamics equation. The model is validated using experimental results from plasma reactors at laboratory scale. The results are presented in the following manner. First, use is made of the computational fluid dynamics software (CFD), Fluent 6.1 with a commercial companion package specifically developped for aerosols named: Fine Particle Model (FPM). This package is used to study the relationship between the operating parameters effect and the properties of the end products at the laboratory scale. Secondly, a coupled hybrid model for the synthesis of spherical particles and fractal aggregates is developped in place of the FPM package. Results obtained from this model will allow to identify the importance of each parameter in defining the morphology of spherical primary particles and fractal aggregates of nanoparticles. The solution of the model was made using the geometries and operating conditions of existing reactors at the Centre de Recherche en Energie, Plasma et Electrochimie (CREPE) of the Université de Sherbrooke, for which experimental results were obtained experimentally. Additionally, this study demonstrates the importance of the flow and temperature fields on the growth of fractal particles; namely the aggregates.
- Génie – Thèses