The current work describes a novel laboratory-scale flame process for gas-phase combustion synthesis of nanosized silica (SiO2) particles. Hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) are pre-mixed with argon (Ar) in a flat flame burner to produce a primary flame. Silane (SiH4), dilute in argon, is injected through the center of the cylindrical burner. The SiH4/Ar mixture produces a secondary flame and SiO2 particles are formed in the plume region of this flame. By changing reactant stoichiometries, the particle size distribution and morphology are altered. In an effort to identify the relevant processes controlling particle growth, temperature profiles, digital images and emission spectra are used to characterize the dual flame system. Particle morphology is examined by sampling directly from the secondary flame onto transmission electron microscope (TEM) grids.

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