In the past, for metal or ceramics nanoparticles dispersed in a film, the average particle size and distribution were estimated from cross-sectional transmission electron microscope (TEM) images, which required enormous labor and time.
Small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements can be made in tens of minutes using a sample of about 15 mm × 2 mm, with no need to slice or pre-treat the film.
The figures below show the temperatures of heat treatment and cross-sectional TEM photos of samples in which copper nanoparticles were dispersed in the polyimide film.
The graphs below show the SAXS data (top) and the the results of analysis with NANO-Solver (bottom); the average particle sizes were determined to be 3.9 nm and 8.8 nm.
Samples supplied by Professor Hidemi Nawafune and Instructor Kensuke Akamatsu, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Konan University