A new MEMS-based system for ultra-high-resolution imaging at elevated temperatures

Lawrence F. Allard, Wilbur C. Bigelow, Miguel Jose-Yacaman, David P. Nackashi, John Damiano, Stephen E. Mick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations


In recent years, an increasing number of laboratories have been applying in situ heating (and ultimately, gas reaction) techniques in electron microscopy studies of catalysts and other nanophase materials. With the advent of aberration-corrected electron microscopes that provide sub-Ångström image resolution, it is of great interest to study the behavior of materials at elevated temperatures while maintaining the resolution capabilities of the microscope. In collaboration with Protochips Inc., our laboratory is developing an advanced capability for in situ heating experiments that overcomes a number of performance problems with standard heating stage technologies. The new heater device allows, for example, temperature cycling from room temperature to greater than 1000°C in 1 ms (a heating rate of 1 million Centigrade degrees per second) and cooling at nearly the same rate. It also exhibits a return to stable operation (drift controlled by the microscope stage, not the heater) in a few seconds after large temperature excursions. With Protochips technology, we were able to demonstrate single atom imaging and the behavior of nanocrystals at high temperatures, using high-angle annular dark-field imaging in an aberration-corrected (S)TEM. The new capability has direct applicability for remote operation and (ultimately) for gas reaction experiments using a specially designed environmental cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-215
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aberration-corrected
  • Electron microscopy
  • Elevated temperature
  • In situ
  • MEMS device
  • STEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Instrumentation
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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