Engineered Surface Chemistry and Enhanced Energetic Performance of Aluminum Nanoparticles by Nonthermal Hydrogen Plasma Treatment

Prawal P.K. Agarwal, Themis Matsoukas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Extracting the maximum chemical energy from aluminum nanoparticles (Al NPs) during oxidation is essential for their use in energetic applications. However, the shell of native Al2O3 limits the release of chemical energy by acting as a diffusion barrier and dead weight. Engineering the surface properties of Al NPs by modifying their shell chemistry can reduce the inhibiting effects of the oxide shell on the rate and heat release of oxidation. Here, we employ nonthermal hydrogen plasma at high power and a short time to alter the shell chemistry by doping it with Al-H, as examined and confirmed by HRTEM, FTIR, and XPS. Thermal analysis (TGA/DSC) shows that Al NPs with modified surfaces exhibit augmented oxidation and heat release (33% higher than those of untreated Al NPs). The results demonstrate the promising effect of nonthermal hydrogen plasma in engineering the shell chemistry of Al NPs to improve their overall energetic performance during oxidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5541-5547
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 28 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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