- Review Article
Characterization of the morphology, identification of patterns and quantification of order encountered in colloidal assemblies is essential for several reasons. First of all, it is useful to compare different self-assembly methods and assess the influence of different process parameters on the final colloidal pattern. In addition, casting light on the structures formed by colloidal particles can help to get better insight into colloidal interactions and understand phase transitions. Finally, the growing interest in colloidal assemblies in materials science for practical applications going from optoelectronics to biosensing imposes a thorough characterization of the morphology of colloidal assemblies because of the intimate relationship between morphology and physical properties (e.g. optical and mechanical) of a material. Several image analysis techniques developed to investigate images (acquired via scanning electron microscopy, digital video microscopy and other imaging methods) provide variegated and complementary information on the colloidal structures under scrutiny. However, understanding how to use such image analysis tools to get information on the characteristics of the colloidal assemblies may represent a non-trivial task, because it requires the combination of approaches drawn from diverse disciplines such as image processing, computational geometry and computational topology and their application to a primarily physico-chemical process. Moreover, the lack of a systematic description of such analysis tools makes it difficult to select the ones more suitable for the features of the colloidal assembly under examination. In this review we provide a methodical and extensive description of real-space image analysis tools by explaining their principles and their application to the investigation of two-dimensional colloidal assemblies with different morphological characteristics. Show more
Journal / seriesAdvances in Colloid and Interface Science
Pages / Article No.
SubjectColloidal self-assembly; Colloidal pattern analysis; Colloidal image analysis; Colloidal pattern identification; Colloidal morphology analysis; Colloidal order analysis
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