Synthesis of silicon nanoparticles with a narrow size distribution: A theoretical study

Authors: William J. Menz, Shraddha Shekar, George Brownbridge, Sebastian Mosbach, Richard Körmer, Wolfgang Peukert, and Markus Kraft*


This work presents a study of the processes involved in synthesis of narrowly distributed silicon nanoparticles from the thermal decomposition of silane. Two models are proposed, one which simultaneously solves the kinetic mechanism of Swihart & Girshick (1999, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 103, 64–76) while adjusting the sintering parameters; and another which adjusts the kinetic and surface growth mechanisms while neglecting coagulation and sintering. The models are applied to simulate the centreline of the hot-wall reactor and process conditions of Kormer et al. (2010, Journal of Aerosol Science 41, 998–1007). Both models are shown to give good agreement with experimental PSDs at a range of process conditions. However, it is reported that an unphysical sintering process is obtained when attempting to use Swihart & Girshick’s kinetic mechanism, while solving for the sintering parameters. The model with adjusted gas-phase and surface growth processes gives better quantitative and qualitative agreement with experimental results. It is therefore recommended that further study into the kinetic and heterogeneous growth mechanisms be conducted in order to betterunderstand the fundamental processes occurring in this hot-wall reactor.

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Keywords: Bayesian parameter estimation, model optimisation, nanoparticles, parameter estimation, particle size distribution, silicon,

Associated Projects: Nanoparticles and Particle Processes

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