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Energy dispersive X-ray tomography for 3D elemental mapping of individual nanoparticles

Slater, T.J.A. ORCID:, Lewis, E.A. and Haigh, S.J. 2016. Energy dispersive X-ray tomography for 3D elemental mapping of individual nanoparticles. Journal of Visualized Experiments 113 , e52815. 10.3791/52815

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Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy within the scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) provides accurate elemental analysis with high spatial resolution, and is even capable of providing atomically resolved elemental maps. In this technique, a highly focused electron beam is incident upon a thin sample and the energy of emitted X-rays is measured in order to determine the atomic species of material within the beam path. This elementally sensitive spectroscopy technique can be extended to three dimensional tomographic imaging by acquiring multiple spectrum images with the sample tilted along an axis perpendicular to the electron beam direction. Elemental distributions within single nanoparticles are often important for determining their optical, catalytic and magnetic properties. Techniques such as X-ray tomography and slice and view energy dispersive X-ray mapping in the scanning electron microscope provide elementally sensitive three dimensional imaging but are typically limited to spatial resolutions of > 20 nm. Atom probe tomography provides near atomic resolution but preparing nanoparticle samples for atom probe analysis is often challenging. Thus, elementally sensitive techniques applied within the scanning transmission electron microscope are uniquely placed to study elemental distributions within nanoparticles of dimensions 10-100 nm. Here, energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy within the STEM is applied to investigate the distribution of elements in single AgAu nanoparticles. The surface segregation of both Ag and Au, at different nanoparticle compositions, has been observed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Publisher: MyJove Corporation
ISSN: 1940-087X
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 10:33

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