Passivation of aluminum nanoparticles by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition for energetic nanomaterials

Anaram Shahravan, Tapan Desai, Themis Matsoukas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


We have produced passivating coatings on 80-nm aluminum particles by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Three organic precursors-isopropyl alcohol, toluene, and perfluorodecalin-were used to fabricate thin films with thicknesses ranging from 5 nm to 30 nm. The coated samples and one untreated sample were exposed to 85% humidity at 25 °C for two months, and the active Al content was determined by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) in the presence of oxygen. The results were compared with an uncoated sample stored in a glovebox under argon for the same period. We find that all three coatings provide protection against humidity, compared to the control, and their efficacy ranks in the following order: isopropyl alcohol < toluene < perfluorodecalin. This order also correlates with increasing water contact angle of the three solid coatings. The amount of heat released in the oxidation, measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), was found to increase in the same order. Perfluorodecalin resulted in providing the best protection, and it produced the maximum enthalpy of combustion, ΔH = 4.65 kJ/g. This value is higher than that of uncoated aluminum stored in the glovebox, indicating that the coatings promote more complete oxidation of the core. Overall, we conclude that the plasma polymer coatings of this study are suitable passivating thin film for aluminum nanoparticles by providing protection against oxidation while facilitating the complete oxidation of the metallic core at elevated temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7942-7947
Number of pages6
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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