Addressable Transmission Electron Microscope Grid
Patent Number: 8,058,627
Patent Issued Date: November 15, 2011 (PDF)
Stage of Development:
OVERVIEWTransmission electron microscopy (TEM) uses a beam of electrons that is transmitted through an ultra thin specimen to yield an image which reveals the interaction of the electrons with the material of the specimen. TEM is an important analysis method in both physical and biological sciences, and has application in cancer research, virology, materials science, as well as semiconductor research.
THE INVENTIONResearchers at UW-Stevens Point have developed a TEM grid that can be used as a substrate for research and development requiring electrical interaction with a specimen under continuous or periodic in-situ microscopic imaging. Ideally, the new TEM grid will reduce the need for extensive sample preparation, therefore eliminating sample preparation artifacts as well as increasing throughput of specimens.
The grid consists of an extremely thin and electron transmissive multilayer support. A planar substrate for electrochemical experimentation provides multiple isolated electrical conductors sandwiched between insulating layers of ultrananocrystaline diamond (UNCD). The isolated electrical conductors may attach to conductive pads at the periphery of the substrate and are exposed at centrally located apertures, allowing for electrical addressing.
- Growth of an electrochemically induced product such as a nano dimension metal wire toroid deposited from an ionic solution
- Study of interfaces and junctions both through the use of TEM and by electrical measurements made through the conductors
- Mechanical properties (such as tensile strength) of grown nanowires may be studied
- Fabrication of prototype electric devices such as diodes, transistors, LEDs, solar cells, and batteries without the need for expensive equipment
- Relevant for biological studies with the conductors used for electrical measurements or stimulation of biological tissue grown on the TEM grid
- Presents TEM imageable and electrically addressable regions for electrochemical experimentation
- Overcomes limits of traditional TEM imaging by reducing sample preparation time to provide higher throughput of specimens
- Offers a convenient, freestanding substrate that is physically robust and electrically isolated on its broad surfaces
- Provides a substrate which allows for low interference in oblique imaging