, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 163-173
Date: 07 Aug 2008

Structural properties of silver nanoparticle agglomerates based on transmission electron microscopy: relationship to particle mobility analysis

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Abstract

In this work, the structural properties of silver nanoparticle agglomerates generated using condensation and evaporation method in an electric tube furnace followed by a coagulation process are analyzed using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Agglomerates with mobility diameters of 80, 120, and 150 nm are sampled using the electrostatic method and then imaged by TEM. The primary particle diameter of silver agglomerates was 13.8 nm with a standard deviation of 2.5 nm. We obtained the relationship between the projected area equivalent diameter (d pa) and the mobility diameter (d m), i.e., d pa = 0.92 ± 0.03 d m for particles from 80 to 150 nm. We obtained fractal dimensions of silver agglomerates using three different methods: (1) D f = 1.84 ± 0.03, 1.75 ± 0.06, and 1.74 ± 0.03 for d m = 80, 120, and 150 nm, respectively from projected TEM images using a box counting algorithm; (2) fractal dimension (D fL) = 1.47 based on maximum projected length from projected TEM images using an empirical equation proposed by Koylu et al. (1995) Combust Flame 100:621–633; and (3) mass fractal-like dimension (D fm) = 1.71 theoretically derived from the mobility analysis proposed by Lall and Friedlander (2006) J Aerosol Sci 37:260–271. We also compared the number of primary particles in agglomerate and found that the number of primary particles obtained from the projected surface area using an empirical equation proposed by Koylu et al. (1995) Combust Flame 100:621–633 is larger than that from using the relationship, d pa = 0.92 ± 0.03 d m or from using the mobility analysis.