skip to main content


Title: The role of electron irradiation history in liquid cell transmission electron microscopy

In situ liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (LC-TEM) allows dynamic nanoscale characterization of systems in a hydrated state. Although powerful, this technique remains impaired by issues of repeatability that limit experimental fidelity and hinder the identification and control of some variables underlying observed dynamics. We detail new LC-TEM devices that improve experimental reproducibility by expanding available imaging area and providing a platform for investigating electron flux history on the sample. Irradiation history is an important factor influencing LC-TEM results that has, to this point, been largely qualitatively and not quantitatively described. We use these devices to highlight the role of cumulative electron flux history on samples from both nanoparticle growth and biological imaging experiments and demonstrate capture of time zero, low-dose images on beam-sensitive samples. In particular, the ability to capture pristine images of biological samples, where the acquired image is the first time that the cell experiences significant electron flux, allowed us to determine that nanoparticle movement compared to the cell membrane was a function of cell damage and therefore an artifact rather than visualizing cell dynamics in action. Lastly, these results highlight just a subset of the new science that is accessible with LC-TEM through the new multiwindowmore » devices with patterned focusing aides.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [4] ; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States)
  2. Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab., Richland, WA (United States)
  3. Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL (United States)
  4. Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, MI (United States); Univ. of Illinois Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
  5. Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Grant/Contract Number:
DMR-1564950; 1334012; 66382; AC05-76RL01830
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: