Inert-Gas Condensation


Welcome to this brief introduction to nanoparticle synthesis by inert-gas condensation. The following lists provide examples of materials synthesis methods, and methods applied to the preparation of nanoparticles. At the bottom are a few examples of recent research results.

Solid-State Synthesis


Solid-state materials are useful in different forms for different applications. The most common forms are single crystals, polycrystalline powders, films, and glasses. The following list shows a variety of synthetic methods to prepare different forms of solid materials.

Polycrystalline Material


Crystal Growth

From a melt: From "solution":


Why Make Nanoparticles?

New synthesis and characterization tools to prepare and study materials at the nanoscale
New or enhanced properties:
mechanical, electronic, magnetic, optical
phosphor efficiency, solubility, spatial resolution
New materials lead to new applications which further drives the discovery and development of better materials

How to make Nanoparticles

Gas-phase and vacuum methods:

Gas-phase condensation
Pulsed laser ablation
Nanoscale lithography

Solution-based methods:

Homogeneous precipitation
Electrochemical deposition on template surfaces and films

Other methods:

Spray pyrolysis
Combustion synthesis
Mechanical milling

Laser-Heated Gas-Phase Condensation

We use a laser-heated method to vaporize material to form gas-phase clusters. By adjusting the atmosphere in the chamber in which we do this, we can control the size of the particles that ultimately form. Figure 1 shows a schematic of the vaporization chamber.

Figure 1. Schematic of the nanoparticle preparation chamber.

The cover of Materials Letters in 1995 shows a micrograph of some of our ZrO2 nanoparticles of approximately 1-2 nm diameter (the bar is 20 nm).

More Examples Here


see Publication page.