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Preparation of graphene-supported microwell liquid cells for in situ transmission electron microscopy

: Hutzler, A.; Fritsch, B.; Jank, M.P.M.; Branscheid, R.; Spiecker, E.; März, M.

Volltext ()

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. Online resource (2019), Nr.149, Art. e59751, 10 S.
ISSN: 1940-087X
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IISB ()

The fabrication and preparation of graphene-supported microwell liquid cells (GSMLCs) for in situ electron microscopy is presented in a stepwise protocol. The versatility of the GSMLCs is demonstrated in the context of a study about etching and growth dynamics of gold nanostructures from a HAuCl4 precursor solution. GSMLCs combine the advantages of conventional silicon-and graphene-based liquid cells by offering reproducible well depths together with facile cell manufacturing and handling of the specimen under investigation. The GSMLCs are fabricated on a single silicon substrate which drastically reduces the complexity of the manufacturing process compared to two-wafer-based liquid cell designs. Here, no bonding or alignment process steps are required. Furthermore, the enclosed liquid volume can be tailored to the respective experimental requirements by simply adjusting the thickness of a silicon nitride layer. This enables a significant reduction of window bulging in the electron microscope vacuum. Finally, a state-of-the-art quantitative evaluation of single particle tracking and dendrite formation in liquid cell experiments using only open source software is presented.