Synthesis of nano sized Cu and Cu-W alloy by hydrogen reduction

Sammanfattning: The major part of the present work, deals with the reduction kinetics of Cu2O powder and a Cu2O-WO3 powder mixture by hydrogen gas, studied by ThermoGravimetric Analysis (TGA). The reduction experiments were carried out both isothermally and non-isothermally on thin powder beds over different temperature intervals. During the experiments, the reductant gas flow rate was kept just above the starvation rate for the reaction to ensure that chemical reaction was the rate-controlling step. The activation energy for the reactions was evaluated from isothermal as well as non-isothermal reduction experiments. In the case of the reduction of Cu2O, the impact of the stability of the copper oxide on the activation energy for hydrogen reduction under identical experimental conditions is discussed. A closer investigation of additions of Ni or NiO to Cu2O did not have a perceptible effect on the kinetics of reduction. In the case of the reduction of the Cu2O-WO3 mixture, the reaction mechanism was found to be affected in the temperature range 923-973 K, which is attributed to the reaction/transformation in the starting oxide mixture. At lower temperatures, Cu2O was found to be preferentially reduced in the early stages, followed by the reduction of the tungsten oxide. At higher temperatures, the reduction kinetics was strongly affected by the formation of a complex oxide from the starting materials. It was found that the Cu2O-WO3 mixture underwent a reaction/transformation which could explain the observed kinetic behavior. The composition and microstructures of both the starting material and the reaction products were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) as well as by microprobe analysis. vi Kinetic studies of reduction indicated that, the mechanism changes significantly at 923 K and the product formed had unusual properties. The structural studies performed by XRD indicated that, at 923 K, Cu dissolved in W forming a metastable solid solution, in amorphous/nanocrystalline state. The samples produced at higher as well as lower temperatures, on the other hand, showed the presence two phases, pure W and pure Cu. The SEM results were in conformity with the XRD analysis and confirmed the formation of W/Cu alloy. TEM analysis results confirmed the above observations and showed that the particle sizes was about 20 nm. The structure of the W/Cu alloy produced in the present work was compared with those for pure copper produced from Cu2O produced by hydrogen reduction under similar conditions. It indicated that the presence of W hinders the coalescence of Cu particles and the alloy retains its nano-grain structure. The present results open up an interesting process route towards the production of intermetallic phases and composite materials under optimized conditions.