Morphology and Raman spectra of aerodynamically classified soot samples
Airborne soot is emitted from combustion processes as aggregates of primary particles. The size of the primary particles and the overall aggregate size control soot transport properties, and prior research shows that these parameters may be related to the soot nanostructure. In this work, a laminar, inverted nonpremixed burner has been used as a source of soot that is almost completely elemental carbon. The inverted burner was connected to an electrical low-pressure impactor, which collected particles on stages according to the aerodynamic diameter, from 0.03 to 10 µm. The morphology was analyzed using a transmission electron microscope followed by image processing to extract projected area and average primary particle size for each aggregate (approximately 1000 aggregates analyzed in total for the nine impactor stages). Carbon nanostructure was analyzed using a Raman spectrometer, and five vibrational bands (D4, D1, D3, G, and D2) were fitted to the spectra to obtain an estimate of the carbon disorder. The average primary particle diameter increases from 15 to 30 nm as the impactor stage aerodynamic diameter increases. The D1, D3, D2, and D4 bands decreased (relative to the G band) with the particle size, suggesting that the larger aggregates have larger graphitic domains.