Published: Jun 8, 2022 by Ismail El Baggari

Join us for the M&M Sunday Short Course on Cryogenic STEM for Materials. Details here

X-15 Cryo-STEM and EELS for Materials Sciences

Lead Instructors

Ismail El Baggari
Harvard University

Myung-Geun Han
Brookhaven National Laboratory

Michael Zachman
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

While cryogenic TEM has revolutionized the research in biological science, its applications in materials sciences have been relatively limited. The major challenges lie in realizing reliable cryogenic specimen preparation, and atomic-scale imaging and spectroscopy at a wide range of cryogenic temperatures. Though still in its infancy, recent advancements in cryo-EM, especially in cryo-FIB and new TEM stages, have brought us the promises.

This short course will focus on the fundamentals of cryo-EM and primarily benefit those new to the field. We will highlight historical developments, current state, and future perspectives of cryo-EM for materials science. We will cover critical steps involved in a successful cryogenic microscopy study, including specimen preparation, specimen transfer, cryogenic FIB, new cryo-TEM stages, imaging, spectroscopy at low temperatures, and data analysis methods that can potentially be used to assist cryo-EM data acquisition and data analysis.

Latest Posts

Variable temperature cryogenic STEM shown by Noah from Cornell

Noah Schnitzer (Cornell) et al demonstrate the use of a cryogenic MEMS-based system that achieves intermediate cryogenic temperature. This allows for the first time atomic-resolution STEM imaging and picometer precision mapping as a function of temperature, a key capability for understanding the evolution of order. Even more impressive, the results here show that we can track order in the exact same field of view across temperature, registered unit cell to unit cell. This allows tracking of topological defects in charge order and how they lead to melting of order. Read the pre-print here.

Our lab demonstrates a novel liquid helium TEM capability

Our team has been working on a novel design that enables liquid helium cooling inside transmission electron microscopes. This long-sought capability is key to accessing quantum phenomena but had proven difficult to achieve. Using a novel design, we demonstrate ultra-cold TEM performance (23 K), impressive millikelvin temperature stability, and low vibrations that enable atomic resolution TEM imaging. For more details check out our manuscript .

Suk Hyun Sung Joins the Lab

Suk Hyun Sung joins the lab at the Rowland Institute at Harvard. He brings immense experience in 2D materials, electron microscopy, and in situ experiments. Welcome Suk Hyun!