A Novel Process to Fabricate Spherical Aluminum Particles

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Aluminum (Al) is the most abundant metal on Earth and exists in nature with other elements as different compounds. It is found in rocks, soil, air, water, acid rains and some plants. In addition, it is an essential part of our life as a food additive and used for manufacturing various products such as containers, packaging, utensils etc. Aluminum is a pliable, soft, light, and highly ductile metal. It is very reactive with reducing agents such as alkalis, acids, sulfur and halogens. Hence, workplaces handling aluminum waste need to adopt a safety plan. Inhaling aluminum dusts can cause respiratory problems, and larger particles are dangerous to handle as they easily react with oxygen in the air and explode under certain conditions.

The present article reports on a novel process to fabricate spherical Al nanoparticles with an average diameter of 80 nm and a 4 nm amorphous Aluminum oxide shell. The amorphous Al-Al2O3 material was obtained from Novacentrix (Austin, TX).

Our TEM analysis shows that the nAl particles are not only spherical but also passivated by an outer layer of 4 nm thick amorphous Al oxide. Their size, morphology and X-ray diffraction pattern are consistent with those reported in previous studies on super-quenched aluminum powder (Mold et al., 2019b; Redgrove et al., 2019). The modeled results show that delamination of the amorphous Al-Al2O3 shell at the core-shell interface is an order of magnitude more stochastic than creep in an amorphous shell and that it occurs without the formation of a large damage radius.