Investigating Nanostructured Materials with Electron Microscopy

By AZoNano Staff Writers

Topics Covered

Introduction
About the LVEM5
How the LVEM5 Helps
Miniature Form Factor
Resolution and Contrast
Accessibility
About Delong America

Introduction

Electron microscopy is a very important tool for studying nanostructured materials. It is required that researchers study their morphology, size, structural composition and orientation. Studies include research into the crystallization and nucleation of nano-sized particles.

The LVEM5 is a suitable addition to any laboratory doing nanostructure research. The TEM mode of the LVEM5 can be employed for characterizing nano-sized particulate or fiber samples and aggregates. It provides an important part of morphological characterization.

It is a comprehensive imaging tool as it features multimodal imaging capabilities. The LVEMS is a 3-in-1 electron microscope. It is not just a transmission electron microscope (TEM), it can be configured with two different scanning modes to be used as a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and a Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM).

About the LVEM5

It is possible to move between imaging modes without moving the sample with the LVEM5. Both transmission and surface images can be captured from the same area of interest. The understanding of a number of nanoparticles can be significantly improved by using this single tool.

The LVEM5 is the only multi-modal electron microscope available in a benchtop configuration. The compact size of the LVEM5 implies it can be installed in the workspace at the place where it is required.

The compact size of the LVEM5 should not mislead. The LVEM5 can resolve objects as small as 2nm in scanning and transmission modes. Also the LVEM5 can produce higher contrast images when compared to conventional transmission electron microscopes without the need for stain.

Obtainable resolution or imaging quality can in no way be sacrificed with a benchtop configuration. High quality images are easily produced by the LVEM5 that are suited for publications or presentations.

It is possible to easily estimate the particle size with the LVEM5 on a live image whether it be for precipitates, clusters, nanorods, nanowires or quantum dots. It can be systematically measured on collected images and the data can be exported to Excel or statistics package of choice.

TEM imaging at a 5kV accelerating voltage guarantees high contrast images of inorganic, as well as polymer or biological specimens.

Figure 1. TEM images of nanoparticles/filaments acquired by LVEM5

Sample preparation is straightforward, and comprises transferring a 1-3µL volume of sample suspension onto a carbon-coated TEM grid. After initial illumination and focus adjustment is complete, image acquisition rate is rapid at up to 3-5 images per minute.

Particle size can be determined instantly on a live image. It can be systematically measured on collected images and the data exported to Excel or statistics package of choice. Analysis can be done with the included QCapture Pro software. Subsequent spatial filtering can be applied using the QCapture Pro software or other user preferred software such as ImageJ if desired.

How the LVEM5 Helps

The LVEM5 is an ideal addition to any lab performing particulate matter research. Its multimodal imaging capabilities makes it a comprehensive imaging tool. The LVEM5 is a 3-in-1 electron microscope. With the LVEM5, it is possible to move between imaging modes without moving the sample. This way it is possible to capture both transmission and surface images from the same area of interest.

Miniature Form Factor

This is the only multi-modal electron microscope available in a benchtop configuration. There will not be any need to send batches of samples to a core-imaging facility, wasting time and resources.

The miniature size of the LVEM5 implies it can be installed in the workspace, right where it is required. There is no need for a dedicated facility for installation. No special cooling or power requirements are needed and vibration isolation is generally not a concern.

Resolution and Contrast

The LVEM5 may be small but it can resolve objects of size 2nm in transmission and scanning modes. Additionally, the LVEM5 can produce higher contrast images than a conventional transmission electron microscope without the need for stain.

Figure 2. Spatial filtering procedures applied

Accessibility

There is no need for highly trained technicians to take electron micrographs. The controls are intuitively configured on an ergonomically designed remote control panel that can be positioned as required. Feedback is directly provided on the control panel as well as through the LVME5’s comprehensive software.

Every installation of a LVEM5 includes personalized on-site training. Users capture meaningful images by the end of training. The LVEM5 technical staff are readily available by email or phone in case assistance or training is needed.

About Delong America

The Delong group of companies operates in the high tech, engineering design, manufacturing and sales sectors and span two continents with operations in Europe and North America.

Our facilities in Brno, Czech republic are specialized in the design and manufacturing of precision components and electron optics and vacuum technologies. In the summer of 2007 Delong will open its new building which will be equipped with the latest in design and precision manufacturing innovations.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Delong America.

For more information on this source, please visit Delong America.

Date Added: Dec 18, 2013 | Updated: Dec 19, 2013
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