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Astron. Astrophys. 330, 1127-1135 (1998)

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Nanoparticles produced by Laser Pyrolysis of hydrocarbons:
analogy with carbon cosmic dust

Nathalie Herlin 1, Isabelle Bohn 1, Cécile Reynaud 1, Michel Cauchetier 1, Aymeric Galvez, 1, 2 and Jean-Noïl Rouzaud 2

1 Service des Photons, Atomes et Molécules, CEA-Saclay, F-91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette Cedex, France
2 Centre de Recherche sur la Matière Divisée, 1B rue de la Férollerie, F-45071 Orléans Cedex, France

Received 22 April 1997 / Accepted 7 October 1997


Infrared Laser Pyrolysis (IRLP) of gaseous molecules is a versatile method of synthesising a wide variety of nanopowders. The synthesis mechanism is based on condensation of heated gaseous precursors. This is the same mechanism as postulated for carbon dust formation in the envelopes of evolved C-rich stars. An advantage of this technique, in contrast with furnace- or plasma-heated gas phase techniques, is its well-defined reaction zone and its infrared heating process. Using hydrocarbon molecules [FORMULA] or [FORMULA] as precursors, a series of carbon-based nanoparticles have been obtained in synthesis conditions corresponding to a variety of reaction temperatures. The nanoparticles were characterised by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and infrared (IR) spectrometry. Both IR spectrum and molecular organisation appear to depend on the synthesis conditions: the lower the reaction temperature, the stronger the amorphous character and the more intense the IR bands. When present, IR bands are essentially due to aromatic CC and CH groups. Our experimental results are compared with results reported on other carbonaceous compounds and with astronomical observations.

Key words: molecular data – methods: laboratory – dust, extinction – Infrared: ISM: lines and bands – circumstellar matter

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: January 27, 1998