Scanning Electron Microscopy


Small spherical tin and gallium clusters (diameters in the range 2 to 80 nm), prepared with a liquid metal ion source, were analysed in a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) by electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). Both volume and surface plasmon excitations were investigated and their dependence on the cluster size interpreted by classical and quantum mechanical models. A blue shift of the volume plasmon energy with decreasing radius R of the cluster was clearly detected. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the peak, related to the damping of the volume plasmon excitation, showed a dependence in 1/R. The reported variation of the surface plasmon energy with R was consistent with earlier predictions or experiments.

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