Synthesis of Air-stable Aluminum Nanoparticles capped with 1, 2 -Epoxy-9-Decene/ Methyl Methacrylate and Poly (Methyl Methacrylate)

A. Patel, E.A. Guliants, C.E. Bunker, P.A. Jelliss, S.W. Buckner
Saint Louis University, US

Keywords: aluminum nanoparticles, poly (methyl methacrylate)


Aluminum metal, with its light weight, high energy density, and ready availability is particularly valued in energetic application such as fuel additives. Aluminum nanoparticles (Al NPs) offer the advantage of accessing this high energy content with more complete combustion than the microstructured forms of the metal. However, the high reactivity of nanostructured aluminum makes it unstable under ambient atmospheric conditions. As result, Al NP synthesis and kinetic passivation are important and challenging issues. We have discovered convenient and effective routes for the stabilization of Al NPs, which use the nascent metal core as a polymerization initiator for various organic substrates. For fuel additive applications, it would be beneficial to be able to fabricate passivated Al NPs that disperse more easily in organic solvents than those we have thus far synthesized. We have thus chosen to pursue Al NPs passivated with some form of polymethylmethracylate (PPMA), given the native polymer is dispersible in non-polar media such as toluene. We have approached such a target from two distinct angles: (i) dual polymerization of a 1,2-epoxy-9-decene and methyl methacrylate (MMA) 1:1 monomer combination; (ii) direct capping of the Al NPs with poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA).