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Title: Soft matter and nanomaterials characterization by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy

Abstract

Soft matter has historically been an unlikely candidate for investigation by electron microscopy techniques due to damage by the electron beam as well as inherent instability under a high vacuum environment. Characterization of soft matter has often relied on ensemble-scattering techniques. The recent development of cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) provides the soft matter community with an exciting opportunity to probe the structure of soft materials in real space. Cryo-TEM reduces beam damage and allows for characterization in a native, frozen-hydrated state, providing direct visual representation of soft structure. This article reviews cryo-TEM in soft materials characterization and illustrates how it has provided unique insights not possible by traditional ensemble techniques. Soft matter systems that have benefited from the use of cryo-TEM include biological-based “soft” nanoparticles (e.g., viruses and conjugates), synthetic polymers, supramolecular materials as well as the organic–inorganic interface of colloidal nanoparticles. We conclude that while many challenges remain, such as combining structural and chemical analyses; the opportunity for soft matter research to leverage newly developed cryo-TEM techniques continues to excite.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies
  2. Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1581981
Report Number(s):
SAND-2019-13745J
Journal ID: ISSN 0883-7694; 681344
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000; NA0003525; 89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
MRS Bulletin
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 44; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0883-7694
Publisher:
Materials Research Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Watt, John, Huber, Dale L., and Stewart, Phoebe L. Soft matter and nanomaterials characterization by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1557/mrs.2019.285.
Watt, John, Huber, Dale L., & Stewart, Phoebe L. Soft matter and nanomaterials characterization by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy. United States. doi:10.1557/mrs.2019.285.
Watt, John, Huber, Dale L., and Stewart, Phoebe L. Tue . "Soft matter and nanomaterials characterization by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy". United States. doi:10.1557/mrs.2019.285.
@article{osti_1581981,
title = {Soft matter and nanomaterials characterization by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy},
author = {Watt, John and Huber, Dale L. and Stewart, Phoebe L.},
abstractNote = {Soft matter has historically been an unlikely candidate for investigation by electron microscopy techniques due to damage by the electron beam as well as inherent instability under a high vacuum environment. Characterization of soft matter has often relied on ensemble-scattering techniques. The recent development of cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) provides the soft matter community with an exciting opportunity to probe the structure of soft materials in real space. Cryo-TEM reduces beam damage and allows for characterization in a native, frozen-hydrated state, providing direct visual representation of soft structure. This article reviews cryo-TEM in soft materials characterization and illustrates how it has provided unique insights not possible by traditional ensemble techniques. Soft matter systems that have benefited from the use of cryo-TEM include biological-based “soft” nanoparticles (e.g., viruses and conjugates), synthetic polymers, supramolecular materials as well as the organic–inorganic interface of colloidal nanoparticles. We conclude that while many challenges remain, such as combining structural and chemical analyses; the opportunity for soft matter research to leverage newly developed cryo-TEM techniques continues to excite.},
doi = {10.1557/mrs.2019.285},
journal = {MRS Bulletin},
number = 12,
volume = 44,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {12}
}

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