Grant Johnson - Surface characterization of nanomaterials and nanoparticles: Important needs and challenging opportunities

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      Publication Details (including relevant citation   information):


      Volume:   31

        Issue: 5

    Article Number:050820


    Published: SEP 2013


        This review examines characterization challenges inherently   associated with understanding nanomaterials and the roles surface   and interface characterization methods can play in meeting some   of the challenges. In parts of the research community, there is   growing recognition that studies and published reports on the   properties and behaviors of nanomaterials often have reported   inadequate or incomplete characterization. As a consequence, the   true value of the data in these reports is, at best, uncertain.   With the increasing importance of nanomaterials in fundamental   research and technological applications, it is desirable that   researchers from the wide variety of disciplines involved   recognize the nature of these often unexpected challenges   associated with reproducible synthesis and characterization of   nanomaterials, including the difficulties of maintaining desired   materials properties during handling and processing due to their   dynamic nature. It is equally valuable for researchers to   understand how characterization approaches (surface and   otherwise) can help to minimize synthesis surprises and to   determine how (and how quickly) materials and properties change   in different environments. Appropriate application of traditional   surface sensitive analysis methods (including x-ray photoelectron   and Auger electron spectroscopies, scanning probe microscopy, and   secondary ion mass spectroscopy) can provide information that   helps address several of the analysis needs. In many   circumstances, extensions of traditional data analysis can   provide considerably more information than normally obtained from   the data collected. Less common or evolving methods with surface   selectivity (e. g., some variations of nuclear magnetic   resonance, sum frequency generation, and low and medium energy   ion scattering) can provide information about surfaces or   interfaces in working environments (operando or in situ) or   information not provided by more traditional methods. Although   these methods may require instrumentation or expertise not   generally available, they can be particularly useful in   addressing specific questions, and examples of their use in   nanomaterial research are presented.

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