Issue 1, 2016

Quantitative 3D analysis of huge nanoparticle assemblies


Nanoparticle assemblies can be investigated in 3 dimensions using electron tomography. However, it is not straightforward to obtain quantitative information such as the number of particles or their relative position. This becomes particularly difficult when the number of particles increases. We propose a novel approach in which prior information on the shape of the individual particles is exploited. It improves the quality of the reconstruction of these complex assemblies significantly. Moreover, this quantitative Sparse Sphere Reconstruction approach yields directly the number of particles and their position as an output of the reconstruction technique, enabling a detailed 3D analysis of assemblies with as many as 10 000 particles. The approach can also be used to reconstruct objects based on a very limited number of projections, which opens up possibilities to investigate beam sensitive assemblies where previous reconstructions with the available electron tomography techniques failed.

Graphical abstract: Quantitative 3D analysis of huge nanoparticle assemblies

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Article information

Article type
08 Oct 2015
18 Nov 2015
First published
19 Nov 2015
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale, 2016,8, 292-299

Quantitative 3D analysis of huge nanoparticle assemblies

D. Zanaga, F. Bleichrodt, T. Altantzis, N. Winckelmans, W. J. Palenstijn, J. Sijbers, B. de Nijs, M. A. van Huis, A. Sánchez-Iglesias, L. M. Liz-Marzán, A. van Blaaderen, K. Joost Batenburg, S. Bals and G. Van Tendeloo, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 292 DOI: 10.1039/C5NR06962A

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