Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Methods for TEM analysis of NIST’s SWCNT SRM



Roy H. Geiss, Elisabeth Mansfield, Jeffrey A. Fagan


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is developing a series of single-walled carbon nanotube, SWCNT, reference materials, RMs, to provide researchers with well characterized materials for their applications. The SWCNT reference materials will be introduced as a series of three types of material: (1) raw soot characterized for composition, (2) purified (> 90 % SWCNT) bucky paper and (3) dispersed, length-sorted populations characterized by length. The first material, bulk raw soot, is expected to be certified for atomic composition by NIST’s highest standards, making it a Standard Reference Material (SRM). For the second material, the raw soot will be further processed through dispersing, filtration and washing to yield a bucky paper sample, which will be certified for composition. In the third material, raw soot will be taken through a purification and length-sorting procedure to yield a series of surfactant-suspended, length sorted tubes classified as “long,” “medium,” and “short.” General measurements made on these materials include transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Raman, ultraviolet-visible-near infrared and fluorescence spectroscopy. TEM is used in the analysis of SWCNT as a qualitative technique which provides a measure of purity for a given sample. TEM allows for the characterization of nanotube type (i.e., multi-walled, single-walled) and the degree of bundling in the structures. Electron-diffraction information from isolated SWCNT samples using the TEM can also be used to characterize the chirality.
Proceedings Title
Microscopy and Microanalysis 2010 Proceedings
Conference Dates
August 1-5, 2010
Conference Location
Portland, OR
Conference Title
Microscopy and Microanalysis 2010


Carbon nanotubes, SRM, standard reference material, TEM


Geiss, R. , Mansfield, E. and Fagan, J. (2010), Methods for TEM analysis of NIST’s SWCNT SRM, Microscopy and Microanalysis 2010 Proceedings, Portland, OR (Accessed July 14, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created March 25, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017