The melting behavior of aluminum nanoparticles

J. Sun, S. L. Simon

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318 Scopus citations


The melting behavior of aluminum nanoparticles having an oxide passivation layer is examined using a differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Both broad and narrow size-distributed particles are studied, and the weight-average particle radius ranges from 8 to 50 nm. With decreasing particle size, the melting response moves towards lower temperatures and the heat of fusion decreases. The effect of the oxide coating on the particles is to apply a compressive force to the aluminum core, thereby increasing the observed melting point and the heat of fusion. The melting point depression, both corrected and uncorrected for the effects of the oxide shell, is linear with the reciprocal of particle radius, as predicted by Gibbs-Thomson equation, although only the corrected data give a value of the solid-liquid interfacial tension comparable to those reported in the literature. The size-dependent heat of fusion is significantly smaller than that predicted by the effects of the surface tension indicating that the solid nanoparticle is at a higher energy than expected, presumably due to the presence of defects or irregularities in the crystal structure at or emanating from the surface. This hypothesis is tested using our data, as well as using data in the literature for tin nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalThermochimica Acta
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 25 2007


  • Aluminum nanoparticles
  • Defects
  • Heat of fusion
  • Melting
  • Melting temperature


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