Nanomaterials 2012, 2(1), 79-91; doi:10.3390/nano2010079
Article

A New Method for Characterization of Natural Zeolites and Organic Nanostructure Using Atomic Force Microscopy

Received: 21 December 2011; in revised form: 23 February 2012 / Accepted: 24 February 2012 / Published: 5 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Developments in Nanomaterial Analysis)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: In order to study and develop an economical solution to environmental pollution in water, a wide variety of materials have been investigated. Natural zeolites emerge from that research as the best in class of this category. Zeolites are natural materials which are relatively abundant and non biodegradable, economical and serve to perform processes of environmental remediation. This paper contains a full description of a new method to characterize the superficial properties of natural zeolites of exotic provenience (Caribbean Islets) with atomic force microscopy (AFM). AFM works with the simplicity of the optical microscope and the high resolution typical of a transmission electron microscope (TEM). If the sample is conductive, structural information of mesoporous material is obtained using scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), otherwise the sample has to be processed through the grafitation technique, but this procedure induces errors of topography. Therefore, the existing AFM method, to observe zeolite powders, is made in a liquid cell-head scanner. This work confirms that it is possible to use an ambient air-head scanner to obtain a new kind of microtopography. Once optimized, this new method will allow investigation of organic micelles, a very soft nanostructure of cetyltriammonium bromide (CTAB), upon an inorganic surface such as natural zeolites. The data also demonstrated some correlation between SEM microphotographies and AFM 3D images.
Keywords: atomic force microscopy (AFM); scanning electron microscopy (SEM); cetyltriammonium bromide (CTAB); zeolites; microtopography
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fuoco, D. A New Method for Characterization of Natural Zeolites and Organic Nanostructure Using Atomic Force Microscopy. Nanomaterials 2012, 2, 79-91.

AMA Style

Fuoco D. A New Method for Characterization of Natural Zeolites and Organic Nanostructure Using Atomic Force Microscopy. Nanomaterials. 2012; 2(1):79-91.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fuoco, Domenico. 2012. "A New Method for Characterization of Natural Zeolites and Organic Nanostructure Using Atomic Force Microscopy." Nanomaterials 2, no. 1: 79-91.

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