8. In-Situ TEM Electromechanical Testing of Nanowires and Nanotubes

  1. Horacio D. Espinosa3 and
  2. Gang Bao4
  1. Horacio D. Espinosa3,
  2. Rodrigo A. Bernal1 and
  3. Tobin Filleter2

Published Online: 11 DEC 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118482568.ch8

Nano and Cell Mechanics: Fundamentals and Frontiers

Nano and Cell Mechanics: Fundamentals and Frontiers

How to Cite

Espinosa, H. D., Bernal, R. A. and Filleter, T. (2013) In-Situ TEM Electromechanical Testing of Nanowires and Nanotubes, in Nano and Cell Mechanics: Fundamentals and Frontiers (eds H. D. Espinosa and G. Bao), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118482568.ch8

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Northwestern University, USA

  2. 4

    Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada

  3. 3

    Northwestern University, USA

  1. This chapter has been modified to feature as a Review: H. D. Espinosa, R. A. Bernal, T. Filleter, Small, 2012, 8, 10.1002/smll.201200522, published online 25 Jul 2012.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 DEC 2012
  2. Published Print: 10 JAN 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118460399

Online ISBN: 9781118482568



  • TEM;
  • nanowires;
  • nanotubes;
  • electromechanical testing;
  • in-situ testing


The emergence of one-dimensional nanostructures as fundamental constituents of advanced materials and next-generation electronic and electromechanical devices has increased the need for their atomic-scale characterization. Given its spatial and temporal resolution, coupled with analytical capabilities, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been the technique of choice in performing atomic structure and defect characterization. A number of approaches have been recently developed to combine these capabilities with in-situ mechanical deformation and electrical characterization in the emerging field of in-situ TEM electro-mechanical testing. This has enabled researchers to establish unambiguous synthesis-structure-property relations for one-dimensional nanostructures. In this article, we review the development and latest advances of several in-situ TEM techniques to carry out mechanical and electromechanical testing of nanowires and nanotubes. Through discussion of specific examples, we illustrate how the merging of several microsystems and the TEM have led to significant insights on the behavior of nanowires and nanotubes, underscoring the significant role in-situ techniques play in the development of novel nanoscale systems and materials.