Investigating the role of solvent formulations in temperature-controlled liquid-fed aerosol flame synthesis of YAG-based nanoparticles

Jili Wei, Shuiqing Li, Yihua Ren, Yiyang Zhang, Stephen D. Tse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Key effects of solvent formulations on the structure and morphology of optical-quality yttrium-aluminum nanocomposites using liquid-fed aerosol flame synthesis are investigated. Employing a temperature-controlled flat flame burner with inexpensive nitrates as multi-component precursors, three different solvent formulations, i.e., ethanol, ethanol/2-ethylhexanoic acid (EHA), and butanol, are studied. Adding EHA into ethanol in a 1:1 volume ratio dramatically changes the flame-made yttrium-aluminum oxides from hollow inhomogeneous powders that contain non-uniform large particles to homogeneous nanopowders around 10 nm. As characterized by in-situ phase Doppler anemometry, droplet size with increasing burner height for the EHA/ethanol case remains constant at the beginning, whereas those for both ethanol and butanol cases reduce immediately. EHA likely causes a shift from the droplet-to-particle precipitation route to the gas-to-particle route because of the formed low-boiling-point 2-ethylhexanoates from nitrates via ligand exchange. By replacing ethanol with butanol, hollow particles are produced with better crystallinity because of its high calorific value that helps to heat precursors at the droplet surface. In-situ diagnostics using phase-selective laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, which tracks only atomic emission from the nanoparticle phase. The result shows that the Al atomic emissions in the EHA/ethanol mixture case gradually increase along the burner height, while those for both ethanol and butanol cases fluctuate, further verifying the favoring of the gas-to-particle route for producing uniform, ultrafine solid multi-oxide particles by adding EHA in solvents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1201
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


  • 2-ethylhexanoic acid
  • Liquid-fed flame synthesis
  • Solvent formulation
  • Temperature history


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