The oxidation reaction of aluminum nanoparticles with oxygen gas and the thermal behavior of a metastable intermolecular composite (MIC) composed of the aluminum nanoparticles and molybdenum trioxide are studied with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) as a function of the size and size distribution of the aluminum particles. Both broad and narrow size distributions have been investigated with aluminum particle sizes ranging from 30 to 160 nm; comparisons are also made to the behavior of micrometer-size particles. Several parameters have been used to characterize the reactivity of aluminum nanoparticles, including the fraction of aluminum that reacts prior to aluminum melting, heat of reaction, onset and peak temperatures, and maximum reaction rates. The results indicate that the reactivity of aluminum nanoparticles is significantly higher than that of the micrometer-size samples, but depending on the measure of reactivity, it may also depend strongly on the size distribution. The isoconversional method was used to calculate the apparent activation energy, and the values obtained for both the Al/O2 and Al/MoO3 reaction are in the range of 200-300 kJ/mol.
- Aluminum nanoparticles
- MIC thermite reaction