Free Access
Microsc. Microanal. Microstruct.
Volume 8, Number 2, April 1997
Page(s) 145 - 155
Microsc. Microanal. Microstruct. 8, 145-155 (1997)
DOI: 10.1051/mmm:1997113

Low-Loss EELS Study of Oxide-Covered Aluminum Nanospheres

Thomas Stöckli1, Pierre Stadelmann2 et André Châtelain1

1  Institut de Physique Expérimentale, Département de Physique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
2  Centre Interdépartemental de Microscopie Électronique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) have been used to investigate plasmon losses of aluminum nanospheres. A model based on the dielectric theory allows to attribute the observed features in the loss spectra of particles of different size to either surface or volume losses. Both, surface and volume loss peak, show size dependent characteristics which are reproduced by this model. EEL spectra with negligible surface loss contributions can be used to determine the dielectric function of the observed material by means of the Kramers Kronig relations. For the case of non negligible surface contributions we introduce the notion of dielectric signature. This dielectric signature allows to study the transition where surface effects start to become visible in the spectra. Our analysis suggests that for a system of known composition this approach is a useful tool to determine the importance of surface effects.

6146 - Structure of solid clusters, nanoparticles, and nanostructured materials.
6180M - Channelling, blocking and energy loss of particles.
7920K - Other electron surface impact phenomena.
8160B - Surface treatment and degradation of metals and alloys.
7145G - Exchange, correlation, dielectric and magnetic functions, plasmons.

Key words
aluminium -- dielectric function -- electron energy loss spectra -- Kramers Kronig relations -- nanostructured materials -- oxidation -- transmission electron microscopy -- low loss EELS -- oxide covered Al nanospheres -- high resolution transmission electron microscopy -- plasmon losses -- dielectric theory -- dielectric function -- Kramers Kronig relations -- surface contributions -- dielectric signature -- surface effects -- Al -- AlO

© EDP Sciences 1997