Quantifying patterns in optical micrographs of one- And two-dimensional ellipsoidal particle assemblies

Veronica Grebe, Mingzhu Liu, Marcus Weck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current developments in colloidal science include the assembly of anisotropic colloids with broad geometric diversity. As the complexity of particle assemblies increases, the need for ubiquitous algorithms that quantitatively analyze images of the assemblies to deliver key information such as quantification of crystal structures becomes more urgent. This contribution describes algorithms capable of image analysis for classifying colloidal structures based on abstracted interparticle relationship information and quantitatively analyzing the abundance of each structure in mixed pattern assemblies. The algorithm parameters can be adjusted, allowing for the algorithms to be adapted for different image analyses. Three different ellipsoidal particle assembly images are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithms: a one-dimensional (1D) particle chain assembly and two two-dimensional (2D) polymorphic crystals each consisting of assemblies of two distinct plane symmetry groups. Angle relationships between neighbouring particles are calculated and neighbour counts of each particle are determined. Combining these two parameters as rules for classification criteria allows for the labeling and quantification of each particle into a defined symmetry class within an assembly. The algorithms provide a labelled image comprising classification results and particle counts of each defined class. For multiple images or individual frames from a video, the script can be looped to achieve automatic processing. The yielded classification data allow for more in-depth image analysis of mixed pattern particle assemblies. We envision that these algorithms will have utility in quantitative analysis of images comprising ellipsoidal colloidal materials, nanoparticles, or biological matter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10900-10909
Number of pages10
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 28 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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