High-Resolution Electron Microscopy of Liquid Materials: Methods and Challenges

David Wang Auditorium, 3rd floor Dalia Maydan Bldg.
Dr. Olga Kleinerman

Dr. Olga Kleinerman

MIKA – The Electron Microscopy Center Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Haifa 3200003, Israel

Many of liquids around and inside us have a unique structure, which give them specific and well-defined properties. Such liquid self-assembly is regulated by physical rules, and nowadays may be controlled to produce medicines, cosmetics liquids provide building blocks of live organisms and organic materials. Some solid applications and processes involve liquid phase processing at some point. Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a powerful tool for studying liquid and semiliquid systems, whose high vapor pressure is not compatible with the high vacuum of the electron microscope. While cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) is a standard technique in many fields, cryogenic scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) is still not that widely used, and is far less developed. Systems under investigation by cryo-EM may involve water, organic components, or even very reactive acid systems, challenging the microscopist with phenomena, such as radiation damage and charging. In this talk, I like to introduce the use of novel cryo-TEM and cryo-SEM techniques for specimen preparation and imaging methodologies of a large variety of liquid materials, mentioned above. Modern cryo-EM techniques preserve the native nanostructure in the system, while not harming the expensive equipment or the user, and allow direct investigation of materials and structures, such as emulsions, liposomes, liquid crystals etc., which exist only in the liquid phase.