In-Answer Detailed Imaging of Nanocubes

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Though monitoring the morphological modifications of nanoparticles within the answer may also help tune the performance of vitality technology and storage gadgets, the dearth of experimental strategies restrained the visualization of those processes.

In-Solution Detailed Imaging of Nanocubes​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Research: Imaging Cu2O nanocube hollowing in answer by quantitative in situ X-ray ptychography. Picture Credit score: GiroScience/

An article printed within the journal Nature Communications introduced X-ray ptychography as an acceptable methodology that enabled the in situ nanoimaging of nanoparticle formation and hollowing in an answer at 155 levels Celsius.

X-ray ptychography might concurrently picture the expansion of 100 nanocubes with a spatial decision of 66 nanometers. The quantitative section pictures permitted the examine of particle thickness. The X-ray ptychography additionally revealed that the substrate hindered out-of-plane development. 

Moreover, the discount of copper oxide (Cu2O) to copper (Cu) steel triggered the hollowing of nanocuboids. The essential evaluation of X-ray interactions with the liquid pattern enabled in-solution imaging of a variety of response situations.

X-Ray Ptychography

Controlling the morphological and structural evolution of nanoparticles throughout their synthesis is crucial to attaining desired performance of vitality storage gadgets and their excessive efficiency. Nonetheless, understanding and tuning the course of morphological modifications of nanoparticles is difficult as a result of lack of experimental strategies. Nonetheless, insights into in situ dynamics of nanomaterials below appropriate temperature and strain situations are uncommon.

Latest efforts in addressing the above downside embody using in situ microscopy methods and liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy (TEM) that gives an atomic scale spatial decision. These approaches revealed the expansion pathways of polyhedral-shaped gold (Au) nanoparticles and form evolution of Au– palladium (Pd) core-shell nanorods that are temperature dependent.

Ptychography exploits a convolution in Fourier house, between the Fourier rework of a finite illumination perform and the coherent Fourier diffraction sample of the article. X-ray ptychography combines the benefits of raster scanning X-ray microscopy with the extra just lately developed methods of coherent diffraction imaging.

The advanced transmission perform of a pattern is reconstructed by X-ray ptychography from totally different diffraction patterns, by making use of the phase-retrieval algorithm. The benefit of X-ray ptychography over scanning transmission microscopy is the spatial decision which is impartial of the beam measurement. Thus, the ensuing pictures include sample-induced native section shift that gives insights into the bodily parameters of samples, together with the density or thickness of the pattern materials.

Imaging Cu2O Nanocube in Answer by In Situ X-Ray Ptychography

Whereas spectroscopic strategies and X-ray scattering might present data solely at a selected response quantity, in situ microscopy might present the pathways that result in advanced and hierarchical supplies with various parameters.

Beforehand X-ray ptychography was utilized in early in situ experiments to picture the lithium zirconate nanoparticles in numerous fuel atmospheres at excessive temperatures. The in situ tomography utilizing X-ray ptychography quantitatively assessed the deformation and pressure of a polymer-metal composite below strain. As well as, X-ray ptychography additionally permits wavefield calculations in an imaging setup.

Within the current examine, the X-ray ptychography was utilized in answer to visualise the Cu2O nanocube’s nucleation and development, adopted by their transformation into hole copper buildings. Thus, demonstrating the potential for in situ imaging in answer utilizing X-ray ptychography.

Separate two-dimensional (2D) pictures of particles rising on exit and entrance home windows of a reactor utilizing multi-slicing enabled the visualization of the morphological evolution of every nanocube over time. Thus, demonstrating the robustness of X-ray ptychography in direct visualization of advanced transformations of form and measurement on the nanoscale stage.

Moreover, the thickness of particles was additionally calculated from quantitative section pictures obtained by way of X-ray ptychography, giving an perception into the three-dimensional (3D) development and transformation of nanoparticles that facilitated the visualization of various morphologies of nanoparticles that nucleate homogeneously and heterogeneously at totally different areas of reactor.

Thus, utilizing in situ X-ray ptychography was handy to acquire uncommon visible insights into structural transformations of nanomaterials in answer to supply a deep understanding of the origin of their morphology, which is essential to designing practical gadgets and extremely lively catalysts.


Total, the morphological development of Cu2O nanocuboids and their transformation into hole buildings of Cu had been revealed by their direct visualization in a chemical reactor utilizing in situ X-ray ptychography. The quantitative section pictures offered an perception into the interplay of nanocuboids with the reactor partitions that affected their 3D form.

Then again, the attachment of nanoparticles to the substrate hindered their out-of-plane development leading to flat cuboids with a side ratio of 0.5. Furthermore, the discount of Cu2O to Cu led to the hollowing of the dice.

In the end, finding out the impact of the beam (at totally different photon energies) on the response revealed that the hole metallic buildings that denoted the completion of reactions had been delicate to the beam and didn’t alter the response path.


Grote, L et al. (2022). Imaging Cu2O nanocube hollowing in answer by quantitative in situ X-ray ptychography. Nature Communications, 13.

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