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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 642014, 10 pages
Research Article

Growth Mechanisms of Nanostructured Titania in Turbulent Reacting Flows

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 111 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0111, USA

Received 5 June 2015; Accepted 22 July 2015

Academic Editor: Lin-Hua Xu

Copyright © 2015 Sean C. Garrick. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Titanium dioxide (titania) is used in chemical sensors, pigments, and paints and holds promise as an antimicrobial agent. This is due to its photoinduced activity and, in nanostructured form, its high specific surface area. Particle size and surface area result from the interplay of fluid, chemical, and thermal dynamics as well as nucleation, condensation and coagulation. After nucleation, condensation, and coagulation are the dominant phenomena affecting the particle size distribution. Manufacture of nanostructured titania via gas-phase synthesis often occurs under turbulent flow conditions. This study examines the competition between coagulation and condensation in the growth of nanostructured titania. Direct numerical simulation is utilized in simulating the hydrolysis of titanium tetrachloride to produce titania in a turbulent, planar jet. The fluid, chemical, and particle fields are resolved as a function of space and time. As a result, knowledge of titania is available as a function of space, time, and phase (vapor or particle), facilitating the analysis of the particle dynamics by mechanism. Results show that in the proximal region of the jet nucleation and condensation are the dominant mechanisms. However once the jet potential core collapses and turbulent mixing begins, coagulation is the dominant mechanism. The data also shows that the coagulation growth-rate is as much as twice the condensation growth-rate.