PerspectiveMaterials Science

Watching Nanoparticles Grow

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Science  30 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5624, pp. 1378-1379
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085838

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From catalysis to sunscreen, nanometer-scale particles already play an important role in applications. As more applications are envisioned, methods for monitoring nanoparticle growth are gaining in importance. In his Perspective, Thornton highlights the report by Renaud et al. , who have used grazing incidence small-angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS) for real-time monitoring of a nanoparticle ensemble. The authors are able to follow the size and shape evolution of the particles during their growth. With some further modifications, the method should be suitable for measurements at elevated pressures, opening up a wide range of systems for in situ analysis.