FYA of Nabil Abomailek entitled “From aerosols to aerogels: A study on aggregation and gelation of floating 1D nanoparticles”. – September 29, 2023.

Abstract: Floating Catalyst Chemical Vapor Deposition (FCCVD) is a method for the synthesis of 1D nanoparticles, i.e., nanotubes and nanowires, in the aerosol phase. Specifically, 1-D nanoparticles grow on the surface of spherical catalyst nanoparticles while floating through a gas reactor. An interesting phenomenon occurs in carbon nanotube synthesis; when carbon nanotubes grow, they form a concentrated aerosol that spontaneously evolves into a macroscopic processable aerogel. This project studies the aggregation and gelation of these 1D nanoparticles in the aerosol phase in order to understand the aerosol gelation phenomenon and extend it to recent FCCVD nanowire syntheses. Aggregates of CNTs and Si NWs have been sampled from the aerosol phase, and the analyses of the morphological properties of the individual particles and the aggregates give interesting insights about the mechanics of their formation. The first results of this study open the way to the next steps in this research and its final goal: a direct processing route for nanotextile fabrication from the aerosol phase