In Situ TEM Electromechanical Testing of Nanowires and Nanotubes

Authors

  • Horacio D. Espinosa,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208-3111, USA
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208-3111, USA.
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  • Rodrigo A. Bernal,

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208-3111, USA
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  • Tobin Filleter

    1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208-3111, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3G8, Canada
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  • Material published in this Review will also appear in Nano and Cell Mechanics: Fundamentals and Frontiers by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Abstract

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 electromechanical testing. This has enabled researchers to establish unambiguous synthesis-structure-property relations for one-dimensional nanostructures. In this article, the development and latest advances of several in-situ TEM techniques to carry out mechanical and electromechanical testing of nanowires and nanotubes are reviewed. Through discussion of specific examples, it is shown how the merging of several microsystems and TEM has led to significant insights into the behavior of nanowires and nanotubes, underscoring the significant role in-situ techniques play in the development of novel nanoscale systems and materials.

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