Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, 14:1106 | Cite as

Chemical composition dispersion in bi-metallic nanoparticles: semi-automated analysis using HAADF-STEM

  • T. EpicierEmail author
  • K. Sato
  • F. Tournus
  • T. Konno
Brief Communication


We present a method using high-angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscopy (HAADF-STEM) to determine the chemical composition of bi-metallic nanoparticles. This method, which can be applied in a semi-automated way, allows large scale analysis with a statistical number of particles (several hundreds) in a short time. Once a calibration curve has been obtained, e.g., using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) measurements on a few particles, the HAADF integrated intensity of each particle can indeed be directly related to its chemical composition. After a theoretical description, this approach is applied to the case of iron–palladium nanoparticles (expected to be nearly stoichiometric) with a mean size of 8.3 nm. It will be shown that an accurate chemical composition histogram is obtained, i.e., the Fe content has been determined to be 49.0 at.% with a dispersion of 10.4 %. HAADF-STEM analysis represents a powerful alternative to fastidious single particle EDX measurements, for the compositional dispersion in alloy nanoparticles.


Transmission electron microscopy Bi-metallic nanoparticles Chemical composition dispersion Scanning TEM STEM-HAADF 



This work was financially supported by the French-Japanese ElyT international laboratory project (Engineering—Lyon—Tohoku,


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MATEIS CNRS UMR5510, Bat. Blaise PascalINSA-LyonVilleurbanne CedexFrance
  2. 2.LPMCN, UMR 5586 CNRS & Université de LyonUniversité Lyon 1Villeurbanne CedexFrance
  3. 3.Material Processing and Characterization DivisionInstitute for Materials Research, Tohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

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