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The Formation of AlF Molecules and Al Atoms in a C2H2/N2O Flame Studied by Absorption and Emission Spectrometry of Molecules and Atoms

[ Vol. 10 , Issue. 3 ]


Jorg Acker, Stefan Bucker and Volker Hoffmann   Pages 418 - 425 ( 8 )


The absorption of the diatomic molecule AlF in the C2H2/N2O flame at 227.66 nm reveals an interesting feature. The calibration curve of the AlF absorption plotted against a rising concentration of hydrofluoric acid in solutions of constant aluminum content consists of two subsequent linear sections of different slopes. The bend position is reproducibly found at a molar fluorine-to-aluminum ratio of 3, calculated from the composition of the studied solutions. To explain this behavior, the most prominent aluminum flame species Al, AlF, and AlO were recorded as a function of the burner gas composition and flame observation height, using a high-resolution continuum source flame absorption spectrometer. As a result, the two-sectioned calibration curve is explained by two different pathways of AlF molecule formation: At a molar fluorine-to-aluminum ratio of below 3, aluminum is transported into the flame by two parallel pathways. One is the common pathway in absence of fluorine via the reduction of oxidic and/or carbidic species by the flame gases. The second pathway comprises the formation of gaseous AlF3 and its decomposition into AlF molecules and, subsequently, Al atoms. The fractionation of AlF3 releases Al atoms much faster than through the reduction of the oxidic and/or carbidic species. At molar fluorine-to-aluminum ratios of above 3, all aluminum is introduced to the flame via gaseous AlF3. A further increase of the hydrofluoric acid concentration increases the fluorine atom concentration in the flame, so that the AlF formation is determined by the recombination of aluminum and fluorine atoms.


AlF, AlF3, AlO, diatomic molecules, flame species, high-resolution continuum source absorption spectrometry, molecular absorption spectrometry (MAS), molecular emission spectrometry (MES).


Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg, Faculty 6: Natural Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Großenhainer Straße 57, D-01968 Senftenberg, Germany.

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