Transmission Electron Microscopy Short Course

NC State’s Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) is giving a hands-on short course on transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and related techniques, which are very powerful to understand the morphology, structure, defects, crystal orientation and phase information of materials, as well as the chemical distribution down to atomic resolution. It is meant for new TEM users with an interdisciplinary background and/or those interested in learning advanced characterization techniques. The course will include 1.5 hours of theory component and the rest of the day will be in laboratories.

This introductory course will cover the following topics:

  1. Basic principles of TEM
  2. Basic diffraction and imaging
  3. Introduction of advanced characterization techniques

After completion of this course, the attendee will be able to gain theory and practical knowledge on how to do basic imaging and diffraction within TEM, what information the advanced TEM techniques can provide, as well as how to design their own experiments for their projects.

Registration costs: $50 for academic, government, and non-profit participants; $350 for industry participants.

For more details and to register, please visit the short course website.

NC State’s Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) is giving a hands-on short course on transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and related techniques, which are very powerful to understanding the morphology, structure, defects, crystal orientation, and phase information of materials, as well as the chemical distribution down to atomic resolution. It is meant for new users of the TEM  with interdisciplinary background and/or those interested in learning advanced characterization techniques. The course will include a theory component in the morning (9:00 am to 11:00 am), and the rest of the day will be laboratories.

This introductory course will cover the following topics:

  1. Basic principles of TEM.
  2. Basic diffraction and imaging.
  3. Introduction of advanced characterization techniques.

During this course, the attendee will obtain theoretical and practical knowledge on how to conduct basic imaging and diffraction using TEM, and what information the advanced TEM techniques can provide, as well as how to design their own experiments for their projects.

For more details and to register, please contact Dr. Yang Liu at his email yliu78@ncsu.edu. Registration costs: $50 for academic, government, and non-profit participants; $350 for industry participants.

Engineers Synthesize Nickel Nanoparticles with Increased Surface Area

Researchers at NC State have developed a technique to create nanoparticles with a unique structure: a core of nickel embedded in a silica shell with small orbs of nickel surrounding the core. This leads to an increased nickel surface area, making more of this metal available for catalysis. For more on this work, please see the NC State press release.

Synthesis and Chemical Transformation of Ni Nanoparticles Embedded in Silica

Authors: Brian B. Lynch and Joseph B. Tracy, North Carolina State University; Bryan D. Anderson, North Carolina State University and Air Force Research Laboratory; W. Joshua Kennedy, Air Force Research Laboratory

Published: Nov. 28, Nanoscale

DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06379B

Abstract: Ni nanoparticles (NPs) catalyze many chemical reactions, in which they can become contaminated or agglomerate, resulting in poorer performance. We report deposition of silica (SiO2) onto Ni NPs from tetraethyl orthysilicate (TEOS) through a reverse microemulsion approach, which is accompanied by an unexpected etching process. Ni NPs with an average initial diameter of 27 nm were embedded in composite SiO2-overcoated Ni NPs (SiO2-Ni NPs) with an average diameter of 30 nm. Each SiO2-Ni NP contained a ~7 nm oxidized Ni core and numerous smaller oxidized Ni NPs with diameters of ~2 nm distributed throughout the SiO2 shell. Etching of the Ni NPs is attributed to use of ammonium hydroxide as a catalyst for deposition of SiO2. Aliquots acquired during the deposition and etching process reveal agglomeration of SiO2 and Ni NPs, followed by dissociation into highly uniform SiO2-Ni NPs. This etching and embedding process may also be extended to other core materials. The stability of SiO2-Ni NPs was also investigated under high-temperature oxidizing and reducing environments. The structure of the SiO2-Ni NPs remained significantly unchanged after both oxidation and reduction, which suggests structural durability when used for catalysis.

SMIF’s New Cryo-TEM joins Molecular Microscopy Consortium

Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility will soon be home to a new cryo-transmission electron microscope: the FEI Krios. The microscope joins the FEI Talos Arctica (located at the the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIEHS) as part of the Molecular Microscopy Consortium (MMC) in the Research Triangle. This consortium is a partnership between NIEHS, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The mission of the MMC is to enable the use of single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and other tools in molecular microscopy to researchers across North Carolina. Cryo-EM is increasingly being used to determine the structure of macromolecules at atomic resolution. There is also emerging interest in applying the technology to the ultrastructure analysis of cellular compartments. The MMC was established to meet the growing demand for instrumentation and expertise in this area.

Director Mario Borgnia leads the MMC and is supported by a Core Team of expert personnel from each participating institution. The MMC functions as a space where projects are carried out as scientific collaborations with members of the Core Team. The following types of projects are currently being pursued:

  • Structural biology groups with an established cryo-EM expertise seeking access to imaging equipment or processing pipelines
  • Collaborative projects in which the lead is a structural biology group seeking to be trained and gain expertise in cryo-EM
  • Long term collaborative projects with non-structural groups where the MMC provides expertise by solving structures using cryo-EM
  • Collaborative projects in which there is a need for significant development of new techologies in cryo-EM

Researchers interested in using the MMC should contact Mario Borgnia (919-541-3120; mario.borgnia2@nih.gov) for details regarding the application process. The MMC is open to applications from academic institutions in the Triangle and surrounding regions.

Professor Jim LeBeau Awarded NSF MRI for new $2M TEM

Professor Jim LeBeau, Associate Director of the Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) and Associate Professor in NC State’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering has been awarded funds from NSF’s Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program to acquire a new TEM. The instrument will be available to users starting in the summer of 2018.

More information about the instrument and its capabilities can be found here.