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High-resolution atomic imaging of specimens in liquid by TEM using graphene liquid cell
Date:4/9/2012

level under transmission electron microscopes."

Researcher Yuk, one of the first authors of the paper, explained his research work.

"This research will promote other fields of study related to materials in a fluid stage including physical, chemical, and biological phenomena at the atomic level and promises numerous applications in the future. Pending further studies on liquid microscopy, the full application of a graphene-liquid-cell (GLC) TEM to biological samples is yet to be confirmed. Nonetheless, the GLC is the most effective technique developed today to sustain the natural state of fluid samples or species suspended in the liquid for a TEM imaging."

The transmission electron microscope (TEM), first introduced in the 1930s, produces images at a significantly higher resolution than light microscopes, allowing users to examine the smallest level of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena. Observations by TEM with atomic resolution, however, have been limited to solid and/or frozen samples, and thus it has previously been impossible to study the real time fluid dynamics of liquid phases.

TEM imaging is performed in a high vacuum chamber in which a thin slice of the imaged sample is situated, and an electron beam passes through the slice to create an image. In this process, a liquid medium, unlike solid or frozen samples, evaporates, making it difficult to observe under TEM.

Attempts to produce a liquid capsule have thus far been made with electron-transparent membranes of such materials as silicon nitride or silicon oxide; such liquid capsules are relatively thick (tens to one hundred nanometers), however, resulting in poor electron transmittance with a reduced resolution of only a few nanometers. Silicon nitride is 25 nanometers thick, whereas graphene is only 0.34 nanometers.

Graphene, most commonly found in bulk graphite, is the thinnest material made out of carbon atoms. It has unique properties such
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Contact: Lan Yoon
hlyoon@kaist.ac.kr
82-423-502-295
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

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