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Oxidation-Induced Surface Roughening of Aluminum Nanoparticles Formed in an Ablation Plume

Oxidation-Induced Surface Roughening of Aluminum Nanoparticles Formed in an Ablation Plume

Physical Review Letters 115(24): 246101

Nanoparticles formed within an ablation plume produced by the impact of a nanosecond laser pulse on the surface of an aluminum target have been directly measured using small-angle x-ray scattering. The target was immersed in an oxygen-nitrogen gas mixture at atmospheric pressure with the O_{2}/N_{2} ratio being precisely controlled. The results for an increasing oxygen content reveal remarkable effects on the morphology of the generated particles, which include a decrease in the particle volume but a marked increase in its surface ruggedness. Molecular dynamics simulations using a reactive potential and performed under similar conditions as the experiment reproduce the experimental trends and show in detail how the shape and surface structure of the nanoparticles evolve with increasing oxygen content. This good agreement between in situ observations in the plume and atomistic simulations emphasizes the key role of chemical reactivity together with thermodynamic conditions on the morphology of the particles thus produced.

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Accession: 058488347

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PMID: 26705641

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.246101

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