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FEI Announces NanoEx Sample Holder for In Situ Transmission Electron Microscopy

FEIĀ  announces the availability of the NanoEx™-i/v sample holder for atomic-resolution imaging at elevated temperatures and applied electrical bias. This new solution can be integrated with FEI’s transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) to observe the effects of heating and electrical bias on nanostructured materials during in situ experiments.

Materials scientists studying the structure-function relationship of a variety of materials, including metals, alloys, catalysts, polymers, (in) organic semiconductor devices, etc., can use the NanoEx-i/v heating component on an FEI TEM to study the material’s behavior under elevated temperature conditions. The holder’s use of an innovative micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS)-based heating element enables faster, more precise heating, reduced thermal drift and improved image resolution during in situ experiments, overcoming the thermal stability limitations inherent in conventional furnace-based TEM heating holders. The holder also includes contacts to allow the application of electrical bias to the sample.

Trisha Rice, vice president and general manager, Materials Science, FEI, states, “Our customers have unique sets of needs and requirements, and we are committed to providing practical solutions for their specific application challenges. The NanoEx i/v extends that approach in the field of in situ microscopy. The holder can be used with our conventional TEMs to observe the effects of temperature and bias, as well as with our environmental TEM (ETEM) to add control of the gaseous environment.”

The NanoEx i/v heating holder is optimized to accept a variety of sample geometries, from nanoparticles to thin FIB-prepared lamellae. The holder uses a small MEMS device as the heating element to quickly heat the samples inside the TEM to temperatures greater than 1000° C. The MEMS heater greatly reduces the thermal mass of the holder, reducing thermal drift and enhancing imaging and analytical spatial resolution. Faster heating, direct temperature measurement, and a known temperature distribution allow the investigator to better understand precisely what is happening at the sample. When used with FEI’s ChemiSTEM™ Technology, it can provide energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) through a heating/biasing cycle to follow changes in elemental composition and correlate them with structural changes caused by the applied in situ stimuli. The NanoEx-i/v holder is compatible with all FEI TEM platforms, and can be operated remotely when used on the Talos™ or Titan Themis™ systems


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