A quantitative electron tomography study of ruthenium particles on the interior and exterior surfaces of carbon nanotubes

Heiner Friedrich, Shujing Guo, Petra E. Dejongh, Xiulian Pan, Xinhe Bao, Krijn P. Dejong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The efficiency of filling carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by ultrasound-assisted wet impregnation is quantified by electron tomography (ET). For image analysis, a method that combines edge detection with single-value thresholding is proposed and validated. A high proportion (80wt %) of the ruthenium was deposited inside the tube at an average particle size of 2-4nm. Particles located on the outer surface of the CNT had a size of 1-3nm. The local ruthenium loading measured by ET (3.2wt %) closely matched the value from elemental analysis (3.5wt %). In addition, a few 1nm-sized ruthenium particles were detected inside the carbon wall, which contained pores/cracks. Direct imaging and quantification is a powerful tool to understand and possibly model the unique properties of CNT-based catalysts. Tomo arigato! The efficiency of filling carbon nanotubes by ultrasound-assisted wet impregnation is quantified by electron tomography. The method allows for automated and operator-independent quantification of nanostructured catalysts, contributing to a more rational design of this important class of materials in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-963
Number of pages7
JournalChemSusChem
Volume4
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2011

Keywords

  • carbon nanotube
  • catalysis
  • electron tomography
  • electronmicroscopy
  • image analysis

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