The possibility of using sub-micrometer polymeric stomatocytes is investigated to effectuate confined crystallization of inorganic compounds. These bowl-shaped polymeric compartments facilitate confined crystallization while their glassy surfaces provide their crystalline cargos with convenient shielding from the electron beam's harsh effects during transmission electron microscopy experiments. Stomatocytes host the growth of a single nanocrystal per nanocavity, and the electron diffraction experiments reveal that their glassy membranes do not interfere with the diffraction patterns obtained from their crystalline cargos. Therefore, it is expected that the encapsulation and crystallization within these compartments can be considered as a promising template (nanovials) that hold and protect nanocrystals and protein clusters from the direct radiation damage before data acquisition, while they are examined by modern crystallography methodologies such as serial femtosecond crystallography.
- electron diffraction
- polymeric stomatocytes