Automatic determination of the size of elliptical nanoparticles from AFM images
The objective of this work was to develop an accurate method for automatic determination of the size of elliptical nanoparticles from atomic force microscopy (AFM) images that would yield results consistent with results of manual measurements by experts. The proposed method was applied on phenylpyridyldiketopyrrolopyrrole (PPDP), a granular organic material with a wide scale of application and highly sensitive particle-size properties. A PPDP layer consists of similarly sized elliptical particles (c. 100 nm × 50 nm) and its properties can be estimated from the average length and width of the particles. The developed method is based on segmentation of salient particles by the watershed transform and approximation of their shapes by ellipses computed by image moments; it estimates the lengths and widths of the particles by the major and minor axes, respectively, of the corresponding ellipses. Its results proved to be consistent with results of manual measurements by a trained expert. The comparison showed that the developed method could be used in practice for precise automatic measurement of PPDP particles in AFM images.
KeywordsAtomic force microscopy Image moments Pyrrole derivatives Size determination Watershed segmentation
This work was partly supported by the Czech Science Foundation Grants No. GAP103/11/1552 and GAP304/10/1951, and by the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic Grant No. TA01011165.
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