Single-step non-thermal plasma synthesis of 3C-SiC nanoparticles

R.P. Chaukulkar, K. de Peuter, J.A. Ghodes, S. Pylypenko, J.E. Cloud, Yongan Yang, P. Stradins, S. Agarwal

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We present a scalable, single-step, non-thermal plasma synthesis technique for the growth of sub-5 nm, hydrogenated amorphous carbon (a-C:H) coated 3C-SiC nanoparticles (NPs). In a tubular flow reactor, we first nucleate and grow c-Si NPs upstream in a SiH4/Ar plasma. These c-Si NPs are then transported by gas flow to a downstream C2H2/Ar plasma, and carburized in-flight by carbon-containing radicals and ions to 3C-SiC NPs. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy indicate an NP size of ~4 nm. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis confirms that the c-Si NPs are completely carburized to 3C-SiC. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy shows that the surface of the 3C-SiC NPs is coated with a-C:H with some alkenyl termination, which can facilitate further solution-based surface functionalization for biomedical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015019
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Research Express
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • 3C-SiC nanoparticles
  • non-thermal plasma
  • fluorescent markers


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