29 April 2021

Deep neural network analysis of nanoparticle ordering to identify defects

Smoothness/defectiveness of the carbon material surface is a key issue for many applications, spanning from electronics to reinforced materials, adsorbents and catalysis. Several surface defects cannot be observed with conventional analytic techniques, thus requiring the development of a new imaging approach. Here, we evaluate a convenient method for mapping such "hidden" defects on the surface of carbon materials using 1–5 nm metal nanoparticles as markers. A direct relationship between the presence of defects and the ordering of nanoparticles was studied experimentally and modeled using quantum chemistry calculations and Monte Carlo simulations. An automated pipeline for analyzing microscopic images is described: the degree of smoothness of experimental images was determined by a classification neural network, and then the images were searched for specific types of defects using a segmentation neural network. An informative set of features was generated from both networks: high-dimensional embeddings of image patches and statics of defect distribution.

Reference: Chem. Sci., 2021, Advance Article

DOI: 10.1039/D0SC05696K