Liquid phase transmission electron microscopy with flow and temperature control

J. Tijn van Omme, Hanglong Wu, Hongyu Sun, Anne France Beker, Mathilde Lemang, Ronald G. Spruit, Sai Maddala, Alexander Rakowski, Heiner Friedrich, Joseph P. Patterson (Corresponding author), H. Hugo Pérez Garza

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Liquid phase transmission electron microscopy has become a powerful tool for imaging the structure and dynamics of materials in solution. Direct observation of material formation, modification and operation has provided unique insights into the chemistry that governs the structure–property relationships of materials with myriad applications including optical, magnetic and electronic materials. However, full control over the reaction environment inside the microscope, especially the solution temperature and concentration of reactants, remains challenging and has limited the application of this high-resolution methodology. Here we present the ‘Stream Liquid Heating Holder’, a complete system for liquid phase experiments at elevated temperature inside the transmission electron microscope. This system features a unique on-chip flow channel combined with a microheater. The channel enables direct flow over the imaging area and rapid replenishment of the solution inside the Nano-cell with simultaneous heating to more than 100 °C. The capabilities of the system are demonstrated by studying the liquid flow dynamics and comparing the temperature dependent etching kinetics of silica nanoparticles by in situ liquid phase electron microscopy to in-flask experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10781-10790
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
Issue number31
Early online date16 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2020


This work is partly financed by the WBSO program of the Netherlands, which encourages firms to spend time on research and development activities. Parts of the data were acquired using the instrumentation at IMRI (https://imri.uci. edu/) facilities at UC Irvine. H. W. is supported by the EU H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action project ‘‘MULTIMAT’’ (676045).

FundersFunder number
Marie Skłodowska‐Curie
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme676045


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