Full Pressure Range Environmental Gas Heating Holder for the Transmission Electron Microscope

Period of Performance: 01/01/2011 - 12/31/2011


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Hummingbird Precision Machine Inc.
8300 28th Ct NE, Unit 200
Lacey, WA 98516
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Researchers are currently hindered from observing dynamic gas-solid interactions in the transmission electron microscope (TEM). Yet, solid-state materials and gases interact in many important ways. The most critical technological application for these observations is catalysis, where one would like to directly observe on the atomic scale how catalysts respond to the environment while they are active. Several areas of research, such as catalysis, sensors will greatly benefit from having access to such observations. The importance of catalytic studies for science and technology was highlighted by two Nobel Prizes in chemistry for catalytic studies (Ertl, 2007 and Suzuki, Heck, Nigishi, 2010) awarded in the past five years. This proposal focuses on developing a TEM specimen holder, where specimen is exposed to various gas atmospheres at different temperatures. Such device enables in-situ TEM studies of catalysts and sensors among many other materials of interest. Electron microscopy is the primary tool available for characterizing the internal structure of materials at the nanometer to sub-Angstrom lengths scales. Dynamic in-situ experiments are finding increasing use as direct methods to explore the relationships among materials processing methods, microstructure and functional properties (e.g. catalytic, sensing).Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Commercial availability of variable temperature gas TEM holder will facilitate academic research in the field of gas catalysis. It also provides a platform to study active elements of sensors during operation with relevant resolution (atomic length scale).