In situ TEM chip

In collaboration with Center for Electron Nanoscopy at DTU we have developed a chip for in situ Transmission Electron Microscopy imaging of catalyst nanoparticles at high temperatures. It is used in the Environmental Transmission Electron Microscope at DTU CEN. The chip is seen in Fig. 1. The chip contains a 300x300 µm2 and 2 µm thick silicon membrane suspended in four arms, as seen in Fig. 2. The membrane can be resistively heated through the four arms to around 1000°C and thus any nanoparticles deposited on the membrane will be heated. In some areas (the oblong openings) the membrane is electron transparent as it in these areas only consist of a 10 nm silicon nitride film, thus one can obtain Transmission Electron Microscope images of particles in these areas. When used in the E-TEM it is possible to expose the chip and the particles to various gases and hence do real catalysis processes on the chip and image the particles at the same time. This allows one to study the particles under close to normal working conditions and get a better understanding of how the particles perform.

Fig 1: Image of the 7x4 mm TEM chip.

Fig. 2: SEM image of the 300x300 µm2 membrane suspended by four beams. The electron transparent oblong windows are easily seen.