A Continuous Flow Liquid Cell Holder for the Transmission Electron Microscope

Period of Performance: 07/18/2008 - 01/18/2009


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Hummingbird Scientific, LLC
3340 Windolph Lane NW
Olympia, WA 98502
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
PO Box 2008 MS6085
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
Institution POC


Electron microscopy of specimen in liquid has recently been demonstrated by Niels de Jong at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). A sample was enclosed in a liquid compartment with electron transparent windows and imaged using a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). Expanding on this expertise it is proposed to develop the technology of a liquid holder for both TEM and STEM that provides a resolution in the nanometer-range on a wide variety of materials and that is cost effective, quick and easy to use. In addition we will include the capability to continuously flow liquid through the specimen region, to be able to precisely control the liquid environment (chemical composition, temperature, flow). In Phase I we will design and construct this holder at Hummingbird Scientific. Sample loading and the electron microscopy imaging with operation of the holder will be tested on a range of materials and liquids at ORNL. Radiation damage (charging, creation of radicals and heating) on the specimen will be investigated and remedies will be tested, e.g., flushing of the liquid. The deliverable will be a commercial tested liquid holder.