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Nano Lett. 2011 Nov 9;11(11):4666-73. doi: 10.1021/nl202253a. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Three-dimensional morphology of iron oxide nanoparticles with reactive concave surfaces. A compressed sensing-electron tomography (CS-ET) approach.

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  • 1Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, United Kingdom.


In this paper, we apply electron tomography (ET) to the study of the three-dimensional (3D) morphology of iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) with reactive concave surfaces. The ability to determine quantitatively the volume and shape of the NP concavity is essential for understanding the key-lock mechanism responsible for the destabilization of gold nanocrystals within the iron oxide NP concavity. We show that quantitative ET is enhanced greatly by the application of compressed sensing (CS) techniques to the tomographic reconstruction. High-fidelity tomograms using a new CS-ET algorithm reveal with clarity the concavities of the particle and enable 3D nanometrology studies to be undertaken with confidence. In addition, the robust performance of the CS-ET algorithm with undersampled data should allow rapid progress with time-resolved 3D nanoscale studies, 3D atomic resolution imaging, and cryo-tomography of nanoscale cellular structures.

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