Accelerating Research With In Situ Microscopy (With Video)

Sponsored by Protochips, Inc.

Thursday, February 22, 2018
36-428, Haus Room (4th floor)
(Live in situ TEM demo in 24-041K)
50 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA



9:30 - 10:30

Chemistry in the TEM - new horizons for in situ microscopy
Jordan Moering, Ph.D, Marketing Communications Manager, Protochips

New innovations are transforming the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) from a simple high-resolution image acquisition tool into a nanoscale materials research and development laboratory. Researchers can now better understand material behavior by analyzing samples in real-world gas or liquid environments, at high temperature and in realistic conditions for true operando studies. With the new in situ tools from Protochips, materials research occurs in highly controlled environments at high resolution without sacrificing the analytical capabilities of the TEM such as EDS. Applications for these tools include heterogeneous catalyst reactions, nanostructure nucleation and growth, battery and fuel cell materials, high temperature nanoparticle behavior, semiconductor devices and much more. In this presentation we show the most recent results using the Protochips Atmosphere gas cell, the Poseidon™ Select liquid and electrochemistry cell, and the Fusion™ heating and electrical biasing system.



10:45 - 11:45

Phase transformations of nanoscale systems using in situ TEM
Judy Cha, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science 

Many nanoscale systems rely on phase transformations for switching their functionalities in response to stimuli. Thus, investigation of such phase transformations and subsequent correlation to changes in materials properties are critical. Here, we use in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as a tool to study directly how phase transformations occur, deviate, and be controlled at the nanoscale under either thermal or electrical stimuli. I will discuss two phase transformation examples: IBM’s confined phase change memory (PCM) devices with a metal surfactant layer, which showed a record endurance of 2x1012 programming cycles and metallic glass nanostructures that are used to test the limits of classical nucleation theories at the nanoscale. In both cases, atomic scale in situ TEM investigations reveal detailed and unexpected phenomena, which can guide us to build better models and theories.

11:45 - 12:00


12:00 - 1:00

Join us for a complementary lunch courtesy of MIT and Protochips

1:00 - 2:00

Revealing molecular adversaries of human health
Deborah Kelly, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, Virginia Tech

Biomedical research improves our understanding of human health and disease through the development of new technologies. Cryo-Electron Microscopy (EM) is one technology that is transforming our view of the nanoworld–allowing us to study cells and molecules in exquisite detail. Structural information of dynamic components, however, reveals only a small part of their complex narrative. Recent advances in the production of materials such as graphene and silicon nitride provide new opportunities for EM imaging in real-time. We use these materials to create environmental chambers and perform experiments in situ or “inside” the EM column. Together, with microfluidic-based specimen holders, we can now view biological complexes in a native liquid environment at the nanoscale. Other recent applications of in situ imaging include real-time recordings of therapeutic nanoparticles interacting with brain tumor cells and changes in the molecular intricacies of viral pathogens. These results complement our ongoing cryo-EM studies on the breast cancer susceptibility protein (BRCA1) as we strive to analyse biological events with high spatial and temporal resolution.

2:00 - 2:15


2:30 - 4:00

Live Demonstration (in Building 24, Room 24-041K)
Madeline Dukes, Applications Scientist, Protochips

Join us in the TEM lab where you'll see a live demonstration of the Fusion heating and electrical biasing system.