Material Characterization of Plasma-Treated Aluminum Particles via Different Gases

Chi Chin Wu, Kelsea K. Miller, Scott D. Walck, Michelle Pantoya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This work describes exploration of mitigating the parasitic amorphous alumina (Al2O3) shell of aluminum nanoparticles (n-Al) and modifying the surface using different plasmas, leading to n-Al with thinner shell and different coatings including carbons and oxidizing salt called aluminum iodate hexahydrate (AIH), respectively. The approach exploits a prototype atmospheric non-thermal plasma reactor with dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) configuration for nanoparticle surface modifications using n-Al of 80 nm average diameter as an example. Preliminary results indicate that the amorphous Al2O3 shell surrounding the active aluminum core can be mitigated with inert plasmas by as much as 40% using either helium (He) or argon (Ar). The particle surface becomes carbon-rich with carbon monoxide (CO) / He plasmas. By immersing the plasma-treated n-Al in an iodic acid (HIO3) solution, AIH crystals can be formed on the n-Al surface. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is used as a major tool to study the details of the modified surface morphologies, diffraction patterns, and chemical composition of the modified n-Al. The results demonstrate effective surface passivation of n-Al via atmospheric plasma techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1595
Number of pages7
JournalMRS Advances
Issue number27
StatePublished - 2019


  • Al
  • energetic material
  • nanostructure
  • transmission electron microscopy (TEM)


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