Impregnation of carbon black for the examination of colloids using TEM

Lionel C. Gontard, Benjamin R. Knappett, Andrew E.H. Wheatley, Shery L.Y. Chang, Asunción Fernández

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Nanoparticles are frequently synthesised as colloids, dispersed in solvents such as water, hexane or ethanol. For their characterisation by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), a drop of colloid is typically deposited on a carbon support and the solvent allowed to evaporate. However, this method of supporting the nanoparticles reduces the visibility of fine atomic details, particularly for carbonaceous species, due to interference from the 2-dimensional carbon support at most viewing angles. We propose here the impregnation of a 3 dimensional carbon black matrix that has been previously deposited on a carbon film as an alternative means of supporting colloidal nanoparticles, and show examples of the application of this method to advanced TEM techniques in the analysis of monometallic, core@shell and hybrid nanoparticles with carbon-based shells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-468
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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