SYNTHESIS AND CHARACTERIZATION OF AMORPHOUS HYDROGENERATED CARBON NANOPARTICLES CREATED THROUGH PLASMA ENHANCED CHEMICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION TECHNIQUES

Open Access
Author:
Yelamarty, Srinath
Area of Honors:
Chemical Engineering
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Themis Matsoukas, Thesis Supervisor
  • Darrell Velegol, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • low pressure
  • plasma
  • nanoparticle
  • hydrocarbon
Abstract:
The creation and behavior of carbon-based nanoparticles was investigated through plasma polymerization processes. Toluene and heptane precursors were introduced into a tubular reactor where Radio Frequency (RF) power was applied to the compounds, thus generating plasma and ionizing the components. Reassembling of the excited components can come in the form of films or particles. The goal of this work was to investigate the best experimental conditions for nanoparticle formation and to study these particles’ colloidal properties. In this work, when RF power was low (15W), both films and particles were generated. However, with greater time duration of test, came a greater ratio of particle formation. When RF power was high (40 & 60 W), only nanoparticles were observed—for all durations of testing. While heptane was used as a precursor for polymerization, it was observed that particles and films were both generated along the reactor wall. Furthermore, it was observed that heptane deposited higher amounts of product than toluene, allowing for ~0.1 g of product to be collected. Through sonication and separation techniques, the particles from heptane testing were suspended in solution and realized to be stable through Zeta Potential runs (-50). Amorphous toluene particles were collected in the reactor filter while tests were conducted at low power (10W). These particles, initially 500 nm to 1 μm in diameter, experienced changes in morphology when exposed to a transmission electron microscope (TEM) beam. When exposed to the electron beam, the particles transformed from amorphous to a bubble-type hollow particle, greater than 1 μm in diameter. Furthermore, particles originating from heptane and toluene were tested for their hydrophobicity. It was observed that heptane based particles exhibited higher hydrophobic character than toluene based particles