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Alkanes such as n-hexane have been used as co-solvents in the production of functionalized semiconductor nanoparticles from alkenes and alkynes using Reactive High Energy Ball Milling (RHEBM) under the assumption that they are non-reactive under typical milling conditions. In this paper, we report on a comparative study with two hydrocarbon solvents of comparable chain length, 1-hexyne, and n-hexane, and their milling products using three different commercially available silicon precursors, namely single crystal silicon wafers and polycrystalline particles having a nominal size of 4 μm and 1 mm. We found that nanoparticle formation and surface functionalization in all the three silicon systems occurs only with 1-hexyne; n-hexane is non-reactive and does not lead to appreciable functionalized nanoparticle formation under the conditions studied. Nanoparticles (where formed) and microparticle byproducts of appropriate samples were characterized by TEM, FTIR, PL, 1H/13C NMR and TGA to separately confirm nanoparticle formation and surface functionalization.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:

Vanegas, J. P., Reusch, A., Fink, M. J., Mitchell, B. S., Confirmation of N-Hexane as An Inert Co-Solvent in The Production of Functionalized Silicon Nanoparticles from Reactive High-Energy Ball Milling. Part. Part. Syst. Charact. 2023, 2300052.

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Particle & Particle Systems Characterization


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