Interest in the fine structure of soots and carbon blacks is motivated by a variety
of possible applications. The structure provides information on the origins of the
particles and on their adsorptive and reactive properties. This paper describes a
method for quantification of the structure of soots and carbon blacks based on direct
electron microscopic observation followed by image analysis of these materials. High-resolution
transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) provides a very detailed observation of particle
structure. The differences in soot structure, because of its complexity, may not be
easily quantifiable with the human eye; therefore, high-level computer software has
been used to manipulate HRTEM images. This technique involves the application of fast
Fourier transforms (FFT) to single particles and the measurement; of characteristic
parameters such as interplanar spacings and crystallite sizes from these particles.
The methodology and application of this characterization technique are presented here.
Results are shown for different samples obtained from soot and carbon black particles
selected to illustrate the capabilities of the methodology. Quantitative information
can be obtained on structural characteristics, e.g., interplanar spacing, circularity,
orientation, elongation, and length distribution of lattice fringes, as well as on
the fractional coverage of the extracted pattern. (C) 1996 Wiley-Liss, Inc.