Chemical composition dispersion in bi-metallic nanoparticles: Semi-automated analysis using HAADF-STEM

T. Epicier, K. Sato, F. Tournus, T. Konno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We present a method using high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) to determine the chemical composition of bi-metallic nanoparticles. This method, which can be applied in a semi-automated way, allows large scale analysis with a statistical number of particles (several hundreds) in a short time. Once a calibration curve has been obtained, e.g., using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) measurements on a few particles, the HAADF integrated intensity of each particle can indeed be directly related to its chemical composition. After a theoretical description, this approach is applied to the case of iron-palladium nanoparticles (expected to be nearly stoichiometric) with a mean size of 8.3 nm. It will be shown that an accurate chemical composition histogram is obtained, i.e., the Fe content has been determined to be 49.0 at.% with a dispersion of 10.4 %. HAADF-STEM analysis represents a powerful alternative to fastidious single particle EDX measurements, for the compositional dispersion in alloy nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1106
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept


  • Bi-metallic nanoparticles
  • Chemical composition dispersion
  • Scanning TEM
  • Transmission electron microscopy


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