Date of Award

8-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Migone, Aldo

Abstract

Adsorption isotherms can be used to determine surface area of a substrate and the heat released when adsorption occurs. Our measurements are done determining the equilibrium pressures corresponding to a given amount of gas adsorbed on a substrate at constant temperature. The adsorption studies were done on aggregates of open dahlia-like carbon nanohorns. The nanohorns were oxidized for 9 hours at 550 °C to open them up and render their interior space accessible for adsorption. Volumetric adsorption measurements of Ne were performed at twelve different temperatures between 19 K and 48 K. The isotherms showed two substeps. The first substep corresponds to adsorption on the high energy binding sites in the interior of the nanohorns, near the tip. The second substep corresponds to low energy binding sites both on the outside of the nanotubes and inside the nanotube away from the tip. The isosteric heat measurements obtained from the isotherm data also shows these two distinct substeps. The effective surface area of the open nanotubes was determined from the isotherms using the point-B method. The isosteric heat and surface area data for neon on open nanohorns were compared to two similar experiments of neon adsorbed on aggregates of closed nanohorns.

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