Spark Synthesis: Metal Nanoparticles and soot

Spark synthesis enables the precursor-free synthesis of graphitic and metallic nanoparticles

A plasma based laboratory process, which allows good control over structure and composition on the nanometer scale is spark discharge synthesis. It enables the production of simple carbon aerosols for calibration purposes but also the synthesis of particles reliably alloyed at the nanoscale, which is only indirectly or not at all possible with other known methods. An example is shown below, were CuNi particles were generated and analyzed on the primary particle level using EDX. This analysis method showed, that the particle to particle variation was less than 5%, which is a unique precision on the nanoparticle level.


Palas DNP digital 3000

Particle measurement devices should be calibrated using particles with characteristics, e.g. shape, size, density, surface condition, and refractive index, that are similar to those of the actual aerosol to be tested, e.g. diesel soot.

The new DNP digital 3000 generates a condensation aerosol from monolithic graphite. The resulting carbon agglomerates are similar to diesel soot with respect to particle size distribution.

Due to the new digital regulation, the generator enables an enhanced setting range as well as an even higher constancy of the generated particle size and concentration.

The particle measurement program (PMP) recommends that the particle size be adjusted to 30 nm, 50 nm, and 100 nm for calibration of the complete measurement chain. The 30 nm, 50 nm, and 100 nm particle fractions are able to be classified with a DEMC (differential electro mobility classifier) based on the particle spectrum provided by the DNP digital 3000. The DNP digital 3000 is able to quickly, reliably, and reproducibly determine the transmission behavior/function of a particle measurement chain, e.g. the PMP measurement chain, and individual components also at corresponding temperatures of up to 400 °C. The DNP digital 3000 provides all of the advantages of the DNP digital 2000, but is equipped with mass flow controllers to control the volume flows for nitrogen and dilution air. The DNP digital 3000 is controlled using a built-in touch display.

DNP 3000

Generation of nano-scale test aerosols from graphite, silver (Ag), gold (Au), copper (Cu), etc. through condensation; Carrier gas: Nitrogen