Quantification of porosity in extensively nanoporous thin films in contact with gases and liquids

Netanel Shpigel, Sergey Sigalov, Fyodor Malchik, Mikhael D. Levi, Olga Girshevitz, Rafail L. Khalfin, Doron Aurbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Nanoporous layers are widely spread in nature and among artificial devices. However, complex characterization of extensively nanoporous thin films showing porosity-dependent softening lacks consistency and reliability when using different analytical techniques. We introduce herein, a facile and precise method of such complex characterization by multi-harmonic QCM-D (Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring) measurements performed both in the air and liquids (Au-Zn alloy was used as a typical example). The porosity values determined by QCM-D in air and different liquids are entirely consistent with that obtained from parallel RBS (Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy) and GISAXS (Grazing-Incidence Small-Angle Scattering) characterizations. This ensures precise quantification of the nanolayer porosity simultaneously with tracking their viscoelastic properties in liquids, significantly increasing sensitivity of the viscoelastic detection (viscoelastic contrast principle). Our approach is in high demand for quantifying potential-induced changes in nanoporous layers of complex architectures fabricated for various electrocatalytic energy storage and analytical devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4394
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 27 Sep 2019

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© 2019, The Author(s).


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