Nanoparticles are found in many areas of modern life, from the black toner in a laser printer and the white pigment in paint, to self-cleaning coatings on windows. However, not all nanoparticles are useful. Soot, a by-product of incomplete combustion, can be harmful to the environment and human health. Understanding the mechanisms by which these particles are formed and grow will help us understand how their size and shape might be tuned to promote useful properties, or assist in preventing their formation in the first place.

Within the CoMo group we employ a variety of techniques to model the growth and morphology of nanoparticles. From the most fundamental level, quantum chemistry techniques are employed to determine the stable energy states of chemical species associated with the gas-phase chemistry. By performing these calculations we hope to better understand the kinetics of the complex reaction pathways that lead to nanoparticle formation. But it doesn't end there. Once the smallest particles have been formed and are in a stable state in the system, growth systems take over. These range from the coagulation of particles and surface growth processes (gas-phase chemicals reacting on the surface of the particles), to restructuring processes also known as sintering - where the surface area of the particle reduces towards that of a perfect sphere. All these processes must be modelled accurately so that we can determine the sizes and shapes of the full population of particles. The Monte Carlo techniques employed to solve the underlying population balance equation have allowed us to describe the particles in such detail that we are now able to observe the full 3-dimensional structure of individual particles.

Recent Associated Publications

Perspectives for regulating 10 nm particle number emissions based on novel measurement methodologies

Zissis Samaras, Marcus Rieker, Eleni Papaioannou, Willem F. van Dorp, Marina K. Kousoulidou, Leonidas Ntziachristos, Jon Andersson, Alexander Bergmann, Stefan Hausberger, Jorma Keskinen, Panu Karjalainen, Sampsa Martikainen, Athanasios Mamakos, Christoph Haisch, Anastasios Kontses, Zisimos Toumasatos, Lukas Landl, Markus Bainschab, Tero Lähde, Oriana Piacenza, Philipp Kreutziger, Amit Bhave, Kok Foong Lee, Jethro Akroyd, Markus Kraft, Mohsen Kazemimanesh, Adam M. Boies, Cristian Focsa, Dumitru Duca, Yvain Carpentier, Claire Pirim, Jennifer A. Noble, Ophélie Lancry, Sébastien Legendre, Torsten Tritscher, Jürgen Spielvogel, Hans-Georg Horn, Antonio Pérez, Susanna Paz, Dimitrios Zarvalis, Anastasios Melas, Penelope Baltzopoulou, Nickolas D. Vlachos, Leonidas Chasapidis, Danis Deloglou, Emmanouil Daskalos, Apostolos Tsakis, Athanasios G. Konstandopoulos, Stéphane Zinola, Silvana Di Iorio, Francesco Catapano, Bianca M. Vaglieco, Heinz Burtscher, Giovanna Nicol, Daoíz Zamora, and Maurizio Maggiore, Journal of Aerosol Science 162, 105957, (2022).

Understanding the particulate formation process in the engine fuelled with diesel/Jet A-1 blends

Qiren Zhu, Yichen Zong, Wenbin Yu, Wenming Yang, and Markus Kraft, Fuel 313, 122675, (2022).

Radial dependence of TiO2 nanoparticles synthesised in jet-wall stagnation flames

Eric J. Bringley, Manoel Y. Manuputty, Casper Lindberg, Gustavo Leon, Jethro Akroyd, and Markus Kraft, Journal of Aerosol Science 162, 105928, (2022).

On the reactive coagulation of incipient soot nanoparticles

Dingyu Hou, Laura Pascazio, Jacob W. Martin, Yuxin Zhou, Markus Kraft, and Xiaoqing You, Journal of Aerosol Science 159, 205866, (2022).


Funding has generously been provided by EPSRC, Huntsman, University of Cambridge, and The Royal Society.