Production and characterization of nano-cluster materials
Ayers, Timothy Martin
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The primary focus of this thesis is to present a new method by which metal-cluster materials may be produced and isolated. A laser vaporization flowtube reactor (LVFR) has been built for this purpose. This new apparatus combines the versatility of a high repetition rate, high power laser vaporization cluster source with a known method for cluster production and isolation. Initial experiments on the apparatus reveal that titanium and vanadium oxide clusters coated with tetrahydrofuran can be produced, isolated and characterized efficiently. These experiments also showed that the clusters isolated depend heavily on the synthesis conditions inside the LVFR. The secondary focus of this thesis is to introduce nanotechnology to chemistry students early in their academic development. In order for new generations of scientists to become familiar with modern science, new laboratory experiments that have applications involving lasers and nanotechnology must be incorporated into undergraduate laboratories. Accordingly, this thesis contains an advanced laboratory experiment where inorganic cluster materials are produced using a laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometer (LD-TOF). The remainder of this thesis is dedicated to the production and characterization of nano-cluster materials using the LD-TOF, including metal-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon adducts.