The Environmental Transmission Electron Microscope (ETEM) used by the CRL, in partnership with Ontario Centre for the Characterization of Advanced Materials, provides a unique and novel opportunity to track individual nanoparticles in real time and visualize their internal/surface reactions, structural changes, and fragmentation.
The small wavelength of the high voltage electrons allows for a resolution of up to 0.05nm vs. 200nm of the best optical instruments, while the gas injection and heating system allow for in-situ observation and analysis. As the electron beam hits the sample, there are many electron/sample interactions that occur, each of which allows for different characterization methods (e.g., transmit- ted electron microscopy, secondary electron (SE) imaging for revealing surface and topography of the sample, diffraction from scattering allows for crystallographic analysis, etc.).
By employing all of these tools and methods together, we at the combustion research lab are pushing ahead projects in soot oxidation, testing new nano-catalysts, and even developing new nanomaterials for clean energy storage.