Vapor-phase production of nanomaterials
The synthesis of nanomaterials, with characteristic dimensions of 1 to 100 nm, is a key component of nanotechnology. Vapor-phase synthesis of nanomaterials has numerous advantages such as high product purity, high-throughput continuous operation, and scalability that have made it the dominant approach for the commercial synthesis of nanomaterials. At the same time, this class of methods has great potential for expanded use in research and development. Here, we present a broad review of progress in vapor-phase nanomaterial synthesis. We describe physically-based vapor-phase synthesis methods including inert gas condensation, spark discharge generation, and pulsed laser ablation; plasma processing methods including thermal- and non-thermal plasma processing; and chemically-based vapor-phase synthesis methods including chemical vapor condensation, flame-based aerosol synthesis, spray pyrolysis, and laser pyrolysis. In addition, we summarize the nanomaterials produced by each method, along with representative applications, and describe the synthesis of the most important materials produced by each method in greater detail.