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Environmental Liquid Cell Technique for Improved Electron Microscopic Imaging of Soft Matter in Solution

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons196420

Azim,  S.
International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging & Structural Dynamics (IMPRS-UFAST), Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons206431

Bultema,  L.
International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging & Structural Dynamics (IMPRS-UFAST), Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

de Kock,  M.
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Centre for Structural Systems Biology, Department of Chemistry, University of Hamburg;

Gonschior,  J.
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

Leimkohl,  J.-P.
Machine Physics, Scientific Service Units, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

Tellkamp,  F.
Machine Physics, Scientific Service Units, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

Bücker,  R.
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

Schulz,  E.-C.
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

Kassier,  G.
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

Miller,  R. J. D.
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Departments of Chemistry and Physics, University of Toronto;

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Citation

Azim, S., Bultema, L., de Kock, M., Osorio-Blanco, E. R., Calderón, M., Gonschior, J., et al. (2020). Environmental Liquid Cell Technique for Improved Electron Microscopic Imaging of Soft Matter in Solution. Microscopy and Microanalysis, xx(xx), xx-xx. doi:10.1017/S1431927620024654.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-881A-3
Abstract
Liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy is a technique for simultaneous imaging of the structure and dynamics of specimens in a liquid environment. The conventional sample geometry consists of a liquid layer tightly sandwiched between two Si3N4 windows with a nominal spacing on the order of 0.5 μm. We describe a variation of the conventional approach, wherein the Si3N4 windows are separated by a 10-μm-thick spacer, thus providing room for gas flow inside the liquid specimen enclosure. Adjusting the pressure and flow speed of humid air inside this environmental liquid cell (ELC) creates a stable liquid layer of controllable thickness on the bottom window, thus facilitating high-resolution observations of low mass-thickness contrast objects at low electron doses. We demonstrate controllable liquid thicknesses in the range 160 ± 34 to 340 ± 71 nm resulting in corresponding edge resolutions of 0.8 ± 0.06 to 1.7 ± 0.8 nm as measured for immersed gold nanoparticles. Liquid layer thickness 40 ± 8 nm allowed imaging of low-contrast polystyrene particles. Hydration effects in the ELC have been studied using poly-N-isopropylacrylamide nanogels with a silica core. Therefore, ELC can be a suitable tool for in situ investigations of liquid specimens.