Probes, Patterns, and (nano)Particles

Raphael Levy was kind enough to invite me to write a post for his blog on a recent paper that, unlike some previous work I’ve critiqued there, represents a careful and credible approach to imaging sub-nanoparticle structure. (That close-to-a-decade-old profile photo really needs to be updated, however…)


philipmoriarty Philip Moriarty

This is a guest post by Philip Moriarty, Professor of Physics at the University of Nottingham (and blogger).

“We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.”

Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)

My previous posts for Raphael’s blog have focussed on critiquing poor methodology and over-enthusiastic data interpretation when it comes to imaging the surface structure of functionalised nanoparticles. This time round, however, I’m in the much happier position of being able to highlight an example of good practice in resolving (sub-)molecular structure where the authors have carefully and systematically used scanning probe microscopy (SPM), alongside image recognition techniques, to determine the molecular termination of Ag nanoparticles.

For those unfamiliar with SPM, the concept underpinning the operation of the technique is relatively straight-forward. (The experimental implementation rather less so…) Unlike a conventional microscope, there are no lenses, no mirrors, indeed, no optics of any sort [1]. Instead…

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Author: Philip Moriarty

Physicist. Rush fan. Father of three. (Not Rush fans. Yet.) Rants not restricted to the key of E minor...