The principal purpose of this contribution is to illustrate the potential of compressed sensing electron tomography for the characterisation of nanoparticulate materials that are vulnerable to electron beam damage. Not only is there growing interest in nanoparticles of organic materials in medical and allied contexts, there is also the need to investigate nanoparticles and nanoclusters of metals supported on biological macromolecular entities in the context of drug delivery. A qualitative account of the principles of electron tomography is outlined with illustrations from the field of heterogeneous catalysis, where electron beam damage is less of an issue, and an appendix deals with more quantitative aspects of how compressed sensing promises to expand the range of samples that have hitherto been accessible to investigation.

This paper was originally published in Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2013) 392, 7-14.

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