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Published February 11, 2011 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Microwaves and nanoparticles: from synthesis to imaging


We investigate the use of energy delivery using microwave radiation for both synthesis of nanoparticles as well as a hybrid imaging technique known as thermoacoustic tomography (TAT). In each instance, the absorption of microwave radiation is converted into heat. In the case of nanoparticle synthesis, water is used as the solvent and heated to induce synthesis of the nanostructures. For this aqueous synthesis technique, we demonstrate the use of both pulsed and continuous wave (CW) microwave systems operating at 2.45 GHz. In this report, we concentrate on ZnO nanostructures including nanorods, nanowire arrays and nanobelts. These are compared with nanowire arrays and nanobelts grown by vapor transport through both electron microscopy and photo-excited luminescence. We also review the use of iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles as contrast agents in TAT as previously reported. Here, we measured the properties of the colloidal nanoparticles in the microwave regime and compared the absorption with the TAT signal produced by our thermoacoustic imaging system at 3 GHz. The nanoparticles directly absorb the microwave radiation and produce a thermo-acoustic signal. The results from nanoparticles are compared to the signal produced by deionized water. The results demonstrate that microwaves represent an efficient method for the delivery of energy for both synthesis and biomedical imaging.

Additional Information

© 2011 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We would like to thank Xing Jin and Aaron Keho for their work on the microwave measurements. RM gratefully acknowledges support of the National Science Foundation.

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