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Statistically Rigorous Silver Nanowire Diameter Distribution Quantification by Automated Electron Microscopy and Image Analysis

  • Clifford S. Todd (a1), William A. Heeschen (a1), Peter Y. Eastman (a2) and Ellen C. Keene (a1)


Silver nanowire (AgNW) diameters are typically characterized by manual measurement from high magnification electron microscope images. Measurement is monotonous and has potential ergonomic hazards. Because of this, statistics regarding wire diameter distribution can be poor, costly, and low-throughput. In addition, manual measurements are of unknown uncertainty and operator bias. In this paper we report an improved microscopy method for diameter and yield measurement of nanowires in terms of speed/automation and reduction of analyst variability. Each step in the process to generate these measurements was analyzed and optimized: microscope imaging conditions, sample preparation for imaging, image acquisition, image analysis, and data processing. With the resulting method, average diameter differences between samples of just a few nanometers can be confidently and statistically distinguished, allowing the identification of subtle incremental improvements in reactor processing conditions, and insight into nucleation and growth kinetics of AgNWs.


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*Author for correspondence: Clifford S. Todd, E-mail:


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