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Wet-STEM Tomography: Principles, Potentialities and Limitations

  • Karine Masenelli-Varlot (a1), Annie Malchère (a1), José Ferreira (a1), Hamed Heidari Mezerji (a2), Sara Bals (a2), Cédric Messaoudi (a3) (a4) and Sergio Marco Garrido (a3) (a4)...
Abstract
Abstract

The characterization of biological and inorganic materials by determining their three-dimensional structure in conditions closer to their native state is a major challenge of technological research. Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) provides access to the observation of hydrated samples in water environments. Here, we present a specific device for ESEM in the scanning transmission electron microscopy mode, allowing the acquisition of tilt-series suitable for tomographic reconstructions. The resolution which can be obtained with this device is first determined. Then, we demonstrate the feasibility of tomography on wet materials. The example studied here is hydrophilic mesoporous silica (MCM-41). Finally, the minimum thickness of water which can be detected is calculated from Monte Carlo simulations and compared with the resolution expected in the tomograms.

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*Corresponding author. Karine.Masenelli-Varlot@insa-lyon.fr
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Microscopy and Microanalysis
  • ISSN: 1431-9276
  • EISSN: 1435-8115
  • URL: /core/journals/microscopy-and-microanalysis
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