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Application of advanced (S)TEM methods for the study of nanostructured porous functional surfaces: A few working examples

Santos, A.J., Lacroix, B., Maudet, F., Paumier, F., Hurand, S., Dupeyrat, C., Gómez, V.J., Huffaker, D.L., Girardeau, T., García, R. and Morales, F.M. 2022. Application of advanced (S)TEM methods for the study of nanostructured porous functional surfaces: A few working examples. Materials Characterization 185 , 111741. 10.1016/j.matchar.2022.111741

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Nanostructured films offer the ability of modifying surface properties, even more, when they can generate layers with controlled porosity. The lower implicit integrity of these (multi)layers when compared to their compact counterparts, hinders the attainment of electron-transparent sections of submicron thicknesses (lamellae), which becomes one of the main reason for the scarcity of studies thorough (scanning-)transmission electron microscopy ((S)TEM). Aware of this opportunity, this report provides an overview of the possibilities offered by the application of a variety of (S)TEM techniques for the study of nanostructured and porous photonic surfaces. A few working examples are presented to illustrate the type of information that can be obtained in the case of mesoporous films prepared either by at oblique angles physical processes as well as nitride nanowire arrays prepared by epitaxy methods. It will be demonstrated that this approach enables the realization of several pioneering works, which are essential to complete the characterization of such porosity-controlled coatings. Topics as diverse as the preparation of electron-transparent specimens and the advanced characterization of their structures, morphologies, interfaces and compositions are addressed thanks to the implementation of new breakthroughs in (S)TEM, which allow to obtain high-resolution imaging, spectroscopies, or tomography, at both microscopic and nanoscopic levels. Finally, establishing (S)TEM as a reference tool for the advanced structural, chemical and morphological characterization of porous nanostructured skins, will open new horizons, providing better and new insights and thus allowing the optimization of the fabrication and design of such architectures.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1044-5803
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 10 January 2022
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2022 10:45

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