TEMAS: A Flexible non-AI Algorithm for Metrology of Single-core and Core-shell Nanoparticles from TEM images Jorge J. Saenz Noval, Ruben Gomez-Merchan, Juan A. Leñero-Bardallo and Lionel C. Gontard Journal Paper · Particle and Particle Systems Characterization, vol. 40, issue: 2, 2023
An essential application of electron microscopy is to provide feedback to tune the fabrication of nanoparticles (NPs). Real samples tend to follow a size distribution commonly linked to the synthesis process used and in turn to their functional properties. This study presents an algorithm for measuring particle size distributions in electron microscopy images. State-of-the-art methods based on Artificial Intelligence (e.g., Deep Learning) require extensive datasets of labeled images similar to those expected to be analyzed, and extensive supervised re-training is often required for cross-domain application. In contrast, the non-AI algorithm described in this study is accurate and can be quickly set up for measuring new experimental images in different domains. The accuracy of the method is validated quantitatively and comparing graphical and descriptive statistics. Different size distributions are measured on images of platinum and gold nanocatalysts supported on carbon black, amorphous carbon, and titanium dioxide crystals. Also, images of platinum-iron core-shell NPs supported on thin amorphous carbon film are successfully analyzed. The limitation of evaluating different algorithms for NPs metrology is the lack of standards that different researchers can use as ground truth. In order to overcome this limitation, the images and the ground truth measurements presented here are shared as an open dataset.