The Titan™ 80-300 environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM) is a solution for chemical research at the atomic scale.
FEI Co. recently announced the release of the Titan™ 80-300 environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM). The Titan ETEM is a solution for chemical research at the atomic scale and is a significant advance for the study of materials and processes important in the fields of energy and the environment. The ETEM is the newest member of FEI’s Titan TEM family, which provides powerful microscopes for direct observation with sub-Ångstrom resolution.
The Titan ETEM’s ability to image the sample in a controlled gaseous environment allows scientists to investigate the fundamental atomic mechanisms of gas-solid reactions, such as carbon nanotube growth, crystal nucleation and growth, heterogeneous catalysis, and many other economically significant processes. Catalysts, for instance, are important in the production of fuels and the reduction of environmentally harmful combustion products, as well as generally throughout the chemical industry for applications concerning energy and the environment.
Dominique Hubert, FEI vice president and general manager, Research Division, said, “The Titan is the first and only ETEM solution for studying nanoscale processes with atomic detail in a spherical aberration-corrected S/TEM. Users may be chemists concerned with the reaction itself; materials scientists interested in the effects of a gaseous environment, or others involved in a myriad other disciplines.”
At the core of Titan ETEM’s capabilities is its ability to deliver high-resolution imaging with gas pressures in the sample chamber as high as a few percent of atmospheric pressure. Conventional TEMs require high-vacuum conditions with pressure levels a thousand to a million times lower. A gas controller permits precise control of composition as well as pressure, and heating and cooling holders provide control over a range of temperatures. The ability to select electron beam voltages between 80 and 300 kilovolts (kV) accommodates a wide range of material and imaging conditions.
“The ETEM lets us look directly at the fundamental, atomic-scale mechanisms of our catalytic processes,” said Alfons M. Molenbroek, Ph.D., head of the Characterization Department, R&D Division, Haldor Topsoe, a leading supplier of heterogeneous catalysts and catalytic processes, and an early adopter of ETEM technology for industrial research. “Heterogeneous catalysts are typically solid particles that catalyze reactions between gas or liquid phase reactants. Conventional TEM can give us high-resolution images of the particles in a vacuum, but only ETEM lets us look at the catalytic process itself, with the particle immersed in a gaseous environment. We expect to achieve dramatic advances in our fundamental understanding of our core catalyst technologies.”
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