New Developments in Transmission Electron Microscopy for Nanotechnology


  • The author is grateful to his collaborators: Drs. Xuedong Bai, Ruiping Gao, Enge Wang, Yolande Berta, Christopher Ma, and Mostafa El-Sayed. Thanks the financial support from NSF and NASA (URETI) and NSFC.


High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) is one of the most powerful tools used for characterizing nanomaterials, and it is indispensable for nanotechnology. This paper reviews some of the most recent developments in electron microscopy techniques for characterizing nanomaterials. The review covers the following areas: in-situ microscopy for studying dynamic shape transformation of nanocrystals; in-situ nanoscale property measurements on the mechanical, electrical and field emission properties of nanotubes/nanowires; environmental microscopy for direct observation of surface reactions; aberration-free angstrom-resolution imaging of light elements (such as oxygen and lithium); high-angle annular-dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM); imaging of atom clusters with atomic resolution chemical information; electron holography of magnetic materials; and high-spatial resolution electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) for nanoscale electronic and chemical analysis. It is demonstrated that the picometer-scale science provided by HRTEM is the foundation of nanometer-scale technology.