SIZE OF BOEHMITE NANOPARTICLES BY TEM IMAGES ANALYSIS

Maxime Moreaud, Renaud Revel, Dominique Jeulin, Vincent Morard

Abstract

Transition aluminas, and especially the gamma type, are largely used as catalyst supports in refining and petrochemicals. Most studies focus on properties resulting from material texture and casting (specific surface, porous volume, pore shape and diameter). However, surface properties of alumina should be considered as well, as the catalytic activity is tightly related to the structure of exposed crystalline faces. As γ alumina results from controlled thermal treatment of boehmite γ-AlOOH by a topotactic transformation, the nature of exposed crystalline planes is related to the starting material. Therefore, the synthesis of the oxihydroxide γ-AlOOH, and especially size and shape of these particles, is critical in determining the relevant surface properties. Unlike often aggregated alumina, boehmite nanoparticles can be observed by TEM. Analysis of these TEM images can be performed to estimate the size of the boehmite nanoparticles. Information about morphology of the nanoparticles is obtained by the analysis of the covariance, modeling micrographs by a dilution model.

Keywords
covariance; dilution model; nano-particles; TEM

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DOI: 10.5566/ias.v28.p187-193

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Image Analysis & Stereology
EISSN 1854-5165 (Electronic version)
ISSN 1580-3139 (Printed version)