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A Novel Method for the Determination of Nanoparticle Size and Shape based on X-Ray Powder Pattern Simulation: Application to Boehmite AlOOH

David Chiche 1,2Mathieu Digne 1Renaud Revel 1Corinne Chanéac 2Jean-Pierre Jolivet 2

1. IFP, BP 3, Vernaison 69390, France
2. Chimie de la Matiere Condensee de Paris UPMC (CMCP-UPMC), 4 place jussieu, Paris 75252, France


The control of oxide nanoparticles morphology is of great importance to tailor their physical and chemical properties. As a consequence, routine methods are required to determine the nanoparticles size and shape. A novel method for morphology determination based on X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) is proposed. Morphology-dependent diffraction patterns are simulated using the Debye formula and compared to the experimental pattern. The Debye formula is a general law, allowing to calculate diffraction pattern of any atoms cluster. The most representative particle morphology is thus obtained. The methodology is applied to three different boehmite AlOOH samples: the effect on the synthesis pH value on the particle morphology is clearly evidenced. Further, the method is characterized in term of sensitivity. Extensive comparisons with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations are also performed: the results appear as consistent. The XRD method is especially efficient for the smallest nanoparticles (about 3-7 nm): in this case, TEM observations only provide average diameters of the particles, whereas the XRD approach leads to a full and accurate determination of the particles morphology. The developed method can be easily extended to a wide range of nanomaterials.


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Presentation: Oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007, Symposium A, by Mathieu Digne
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2007

Submitted: 2007-05-09 18:08
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44