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Synthesis of fullerenes and fullerenic nanostructures in a low-pressure benzene/oxygen diffusion flame

Proceedings of the Combustion Institute
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0082-0784(00)80355-0
  • Material Synthesis


Samples of condensable material from laminar low-pressure benzene/argon/oxygen diffusion flames were collected and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography to determine the yields of fullerenes and by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) to characterize the fullerenic material (i.e., curved-layer nanostructures) on and within the soot particles. The highest concentration of fullerenes was always detected just above the visible stoichiometric surface of a flame. The percentage of fullerenes in the condensable material increases with decreasing pressure. The overall highest amount of fullerenes was found for a surprisingly high dilution of fuel with argon. A comparison of the flames with the same cold gas velocity of fuel and oxygen showed a strong dependence of fullerene content on flame length. A shorter flame, resulting from higher dilution or lower pressure, favors the formation of fullerenes rather than soot, and the amount of soot and precursors of both soot and fullerenes is less at lower pressure and higher dilution. This behavior indicates a stronger correlation of fullerene consumption to the total amount of soot than of fullerene formation to precursor concentration. The maximum flame temperature seems to be of minor importance in fullerence formation. The HRTEM analysis of the soot showed an increase of the curvature of the carbon layers, and hence increased fullerenic character, with increasing distance from the burner up to the point of maximum fullerence concentration. After this maximum, where soot and fullerences are consumed by oxidation, the curvature decreases. In addition to the soot, the samples included fullerenic nanostructures such as tubes and spheroids including highly ordered multilayered or onionlike structures. The soot itself shows highly ordered regions that appear to have been cells of ongoing fullerenic nanostructure formation.

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