Atomic Scale in Situ Electron Microscopy: Understand Structure-Property Relationships in Nanomaterials

Friday Oct 16th, 10:30 – 1571 G.G. Brown

Jeorg Jinschek, FEI Company

The strong focus on more efficient energy use and conversion, on more efficient transportation, and on environmental protecting technologies relies heavily on the advancement of (new) functional nanomaterials and nanosystems. At any stage in research and development, studies of these nanomaterials’ structure, properties, and function are critical, including detailed atomic-scale insights. Progress in technology and methodology has made scanning / transmission electron microscopes (S/TEM) powerful and indispensable tools for characterizing nanostructures, e.g. [1-3]. However, studies e.g. at room temperature and/or under standard high vacuum conditions might be inadequate to investigate the actual functional state of a material or system, whose properties depend on varying operating or environmental conditions. Fortunately, in recent years the technology has also been significantly advanced to enable in situ studies while maintaining high-resolution imaging and analytical capabilities when applying in situ stimuli to functional nanomaterials, such as temperature, current, gas etc. For instance, implementation of differential pumping apertures in an aberration corrected TEM [4] enables environmental studies, e.g. oxidation, reduction, or corrosion experiments [5]. In this contribution I will describe the path to have an accurate knowledge and control of experimental conditions in advanced in situ S/TEM experiments [6]. Special attention will be given to the temperature accuracy and uniformity provided by MEMS-based heating stages and the image resolution and sensitivity in ETEM gas environments [4]. Recent application examples will be presented to highlight these in situ S/TEM capabilities [5-7].

[1] J. R. Jinschek, et al., Carbon 49, 556 (2011)

[2] D. Van Dyck, et al., Nature 486, 243 (2012)

[3] K. Urban, et al., PRL 110, 185507 (2013)

[4] J. R. Jinschek, et al., Micron 43, 1156 (2012)

[5] J. R. Jinschek, Chemical Communications 50, 2696 (2014)

[6] S. Helveg, et al., Micron 68, 176 (2015)

[7] H. Yoshida, et al., Science 335, 317 (2012)