On the topological; morphological; and microstructural characterization of nanoporous metals


The structural characterization of dealloyed nanoporous metals is a fundamental and active area of research, needed for the optimization of these structures for catalytic, electrosensing, biomedical, and mechanical functions. The prediction of properties requires identifying and quantifying salient structural characteristics, while insights into the relevant mechanisms of dealloying and coarsening can be achieved through in situ observations of structural evolution. Three-dimensional structural characterization techniques have advanced such that nanoscale quantification of topology, morphology, and crystallographic parameters are achievable, yet the field is new enough that the assessment and comparison of such parameters of different nanoporous metals are just beginning. Here, we explore the state of the art in structural characterization, focusing on nanoporous gold to exemplify the challenges, the achievements, and the potential associated with establishing an appropriate set of structural parameters for this unique class of materials.
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