The Surface Characterization of Nanosized Powders: Relevance of the FTIR Surface Spectrometry
Even though the study of the bulk properties of crystalline solids is facilitated by the periodicity existing in the lattice, the control of the surface properties and of the interface behavior still represents a challenge to scientists. Techniques to investigate the specific structure and composition of the first atomic layers are very often derived from bulk analysis methods. As a consequence, the minimum depth that can be analyzed, although adequate for traditional materials, may be too large for nanosized materials in which crystal sizes can be smaller than the depth resolution of the characterization technique. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry, widely used for bulk analyses, is, however, a powerful tool to characterize the very first atomic layer provided specific setups are attached to the spectrometer. Several examples will be discussed in the following showing the specific nature of the surface and the relevance of the FTIR spectrometry for obtaining detailed information on the chemical species and the atoms constituting the first atomic layer as well as the coordination number of the surface atoms. Moreover, because of the important role played by the nanomaterial surface in many industrial applications, the surface modifications are a key issue to tailor the surface properties. To this end, FTIR surface spectrometry is also a performant technique to follow the modification of the surface chemical species and to study in situ the selectivity and the behavior of the modifications under various treatments.
KeywordsSurface Enhance Raman Spectroscopy Atomic Layer Aluminum Nitride Surface Species Aluminum Atom
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