Olivary particles: Unique carbon microstructure synthesized by catalytic pyrolysis of acetone

Tao Luo, Lisheng Gao, Jianwei Liu, Luyang Chen, Jianmin Shen, Licheng Wang, Yitai Qian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Olivary (olive-shaped) carbon particles (OCPs) with a diameter of ∼1.5-2 μm at the middle and a length of ∼3-4 μm were synthesized by pyrolysis of acetone with metallic zinc as the catalyst at 600°C. The content of the OCPs in the product is related to the catalyst, the pyrolysis temperature, and the time of ultrasonic dispersion before pyrolysis. The content of the OCPs was over 90% of the product under the optimum condition. Mg, Ni, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Cd powder were used as catalysts in the experiments, respectively, in which the metallic zinc powder was outstanding in the pyrolyzing process; the metallic iron and cadmium powder also improved the formation of the olivary carbon particles; however, magnesium, nickel, and copper could not operate the catalysis. Through Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis, the mechanism of the formation of the olivary carbon particles was suggested to be an indirectly catalytic and self-assemble process. By high-resolution transmission electron microscope observation, an interesting arrangement of crystal planes of carbon was found that (002) planes of graphite near the surface are vertical to the surface of the OCPs and not parallel as usual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15272-15277
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Aug 18
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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