Elemental surface enrichment in flame synthesis: A mechanism associated with particle melting-solidification

Bing Guo, Hoon Yim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Elemental surface enrichment is important for functionalities of flame-synthesized particle materials, but its mechanism is poorly understood. In this paper, a mechanism associated with particle melting-solidification is proposed based on an experimental study. Y2O3:Eu particles were generated by flame assisted spray pyrolysis (FASP), using H 2/O2 flames or H2/air flames. The particles were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). H2/O2 flames resulted in particles with Eu surface enrichment, i.e. the surface Eu concentration was several times higher than the overall Eu concentration; there was no elemental surface enrichment in particles from H2/air flames. The Eu surface enrichment in H2/O2 flames was attributed to elemental partitioning during solidification of molten Y2O3:Eu particles; in H2/air flames the particles did not melt and hence there was no elemental surface enrichment. The findings of this study suggest that elemental surface enrichment may be a common phenomenon for binary metal oxide particles that experience melting-solidification. Such particles should be examined for elemental surface enrichment, both for understanding their functionality and for their potential biological effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1875-1882
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2011



  • Elemental surface enrichment
  • Flame synthesis
  • Functional particles
  • Melting-solidification
  • YO:Eu particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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