Probing structures of nanomaterials using advanced electron microscopy methods, including aberration-corrected electron microscopy at the Angstrom scale.

Research paper by Pratibha L PL Gai, Kenta K Yoshida, Carla C Shute, Xiaoting X Jia, Michael M Walsh, Michael M Ward, Mildred S MS Dresselhaus, Julia R JR Weertman, Edward D ED Boyes

Indexed on: 19 Oct '10Published on: 19 Oct '10Published in: Microscopy Research and Technique


Structural and compositional studies of nanomaterials of technological importance have been carried out using advanced electron microscopy methods, including aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (AC-TEM), AC-high angle annular dark field scanning TEM (AC-HAADF-STEM), AC-energy filtered TEM, electron-stimulated energy dispersive spectroscopy in the AC-(S)TEM and high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) holder. The AC-EM data reveal improvements in resolution and minimization in image delocalization. A JEOL 2200FS double-AC field emission gun TEM/STEM operating at 200 kV in the Nanocentre at the University of York has been used to image single metal atoms on crystalline supports in catalysts, grain boundaries in nanotwinned metals, and nanostructures of tetrapods. Joule heating studies using HRTEM integrated with an STM holder reveal in situ crystallization and edge reconstruction in graphene. Real-time in situ AC-HAADF-STEM studies at elevated temperatures are described. Dynamic in-column energy filtering in an AC environment provides an integral new approach to perform dynamic in situ studies with aberration correction. The new results presented here open up striking new opportunities for atomic scale studies of nanomaterials and indicate future development directions.