Double-tilt in situ TEM holder with multiple electrical contacts and its application in MEMS-based mechanical testing of nanomaterials

Rodrigo A. Bernal, Rajaprakash Ramachandramoorthy, Horacio D. Espinosa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

MEMS and other lab-on-a-chip systems are emerging as attractive alternatives to carry out experiments in situ the electron microscope. However, several electrical connections are usually required for operating these setups. Such connectivity is challenging inside the limited space of the TEM side-entry holder. Here, we design, implement and demonstrate a double-tilt TEM holder with capabilities for up to 9 electrical connections, operating in a high-resolution TEM. We describe the operating principle of the tilting and connection mechanisms and the physical implementation of the holder. To demonstrate the holder capabilities, we calibrate the tilting action, which has limits of ±15°, and establish the insulation resistance of the electronics to be 36. GΩ, appropriate for measurements of currents down to the nano-amp (nA) regime. Furthermore, we demonstrate tensile testing of silver nanowires using a previously developed MEMS device for mechanical testing, using the implemented holder as the platform for electronic operation and sensing. The implemented holder can potentially have broad application to other areas where MEMS or electrically-actuated setups are used to carry out in situ TEM experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalUltramicroscopy
Volume156
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Keywords

  • Capacitive sensing
  • Electromechanical properties
  • JEOL 2100
  • Nanowires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation

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