Real-Time Observation of Nanocrystal Growth

August 21, 2009

Interim Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos and Ulrich Dahmen, director of Berkeley Lab’s National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), led a team of experts in nanocrystal growth and electron microscopy who combined their skills to observe the dynamic growth of colloidal platinum nanocrystals in solution with subnanometer resolution. Their results showed that while some crystals in solution grow steadily in size via classical nucleation and aggregation – meaning molecules collide and join together – others grow in fits and spurts, driven by “coalescence events,” in which small crystals randomly collide and fuse together into larger crystals. Despite their distinctly different growth trajectories, these two processes ultimately yield a nearly monodisperse distribution of nanocrystals, meaning the crystals are all approximately the same size and shape.

A new technique known as “liquid cell in situ transmission electron microscopy,” in which the powerful resolution capabilities of a transmission electron microscope (TEM) are brought to bear on a liquid cell that allows liquids to be observed inside a vacuum, enables the visualization of single nanoparticles in solution. The Berkeley researchers deployed this technique on NCEM’s JEOL 3010 In-Situ microscope. Utilizing an electron beam operating at 300 kilovolts of energy, the JEOL 3010 provides outstanding specimen penetration and spatial resolution of about 8 angstroms through the thick liquid cell sample.

Original publication:

Zheng H, Smith RK, Jun YW, Kisielowski C, Dahmen U, Alivisatos AP (2009): Observation of Single Colloidal Platinum Nanocrystal Growth Trajectories. Science Jun 5;324(5932):1309-12.

FEI Joins Metrology Research at University of Albany

Juli 15, 2009

FEI Company, a provider of atomic-scale imaging and analysis systems, and Sematech, the global consortium of chipmakers, announced that FEI has joined Sematech’s Advanced Metrology Development Program at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany, US. As a member of this program, FEI will collaborate with experts to develop high-resolution capabilities of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis, with electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and focused ion beam (FIB) technology to address critical needs in process development and defect analysis.

Interdisciplinary Symposium on 3D Microscopy

Juni 3, 2009

3D Microscopy, taking place from July 12 -16, 2009 in Interlaken, Switzerland, is an international symposium focused on 3D imaging and spectroscopy in science. The objective of this symposium is to create a forum for researchers with different expertise and scientific interests to present their knowhow and the techniques they use to answer their scientific questions. Methods using three-dimensional imaging and spectroscopy to retrieve data in volume will be discussed, whether “light”, x-rays, electrons or near field probes are used. The conference contains 3 plenary talks and 9 sessions with invited and contributed talks and poster sessions.

Session topics are:

– High resolution TEM and AFM
– 3D CLSM and light microscopy
– Stereology
– 3D TEM and atom probe tomography/serial sectioning
– 3D correlative microscopy
– 3D X-ray microscopy and tomography
– 3D FIB/SEM or serial sectioning (with Denk-method) blockface tomography
– 3D image analysis and simulation
– 3D scanning probe microscopy

Interlaken, Switzerland

Interlaken, Switzerland

Frontiers of Electron Microscopy in Materials Sciences

Mai 25, 2009

The Twelfth Frontiers of Electron Microscopy in Materials Science, FEMMS2009, will take place from Sept. 27 – Oct. 2, 2009 at “Huis Ten Bosch” in Sasebo/Nagasaki in Kyushu Island, Japan. FEMMS is an international a biennial symposium series focused on the application of electron microscopy, primarily TEM, in the field of materials science. The conference contains a plenary talk, 9 sessions of invited talks and poster sessions of contributed papers. The sessions cover recent progresses and emerging trends, such as current instrument advances in TEM, SEM, HVEM and detecting systems, ultra-high resolution imaging and analysis, in-situ and ultra-fast analysis, 3-dimensional analysis, and so on. Dr. Akira Tonomura, a world renowned pioneer in the field of electron holography, will give a plenary talk as the distinguished lectureship award winner.