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Using Atomic Force Microscopy to Image Metal Sulfide Nanoparticles

Martin Driggers, Tatiana Estrada-Mendoza, and Professor George Chumanov

Department of Chemistry, Clemson University

This research project is focused on the use of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to image metal sulfide nanoparticles. The nanoparticles were synthesized in a solution by reacting metal salts with sodium sulfide in the presence of a silica matrix and have the potential for many applications including electronics, photovoltaics, and biomedical diagnostic. With the right concentrations of sulfur, silica, and metal ions, non-aggregated metal sulfide nanoparticles can be synthesized in an aqueous solution, stabilized by silica. The size of the nanoparticles can range anywhere from 10 nm to 500 nm depending on the concentrations of reactants. AFM was utilized to determine their size and morphology because it is readily available and can producing quality images. The AFM samples were prepared by a simple drop-casting method of nanoparticle suspensions. Copper sulfide, tin sulfide, silver sulfide, and zinc sulfide nanoparticle samples were imaged during the research. While some nanoparticles aggregated during drop-casting, many remained distinct with near-uniform size distribution, thereby demonstrating that this nanoparticle synthesis method is consistently successful, and AFM is an appropriate and applicable technique for their imaging.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
4.86 MB



  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3110

  • Event date
    • 3 November 2018

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022