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High-resolution electron tomography of ultrathin Boerdijk-Coxeter-Bernal nanowire enabled by superthin metal surface coating [Published]
Song, X., Zhang, X., Chang, Q., Yao, X., Li, M., Zhang, R., Liu, X., Song, C., Ng, Y. X. A., Ang, E. H., & Ou, Z. (2022). High-resolution electron tomography of ultrathin Boerdijk-Coxeter-Bernal nanowire enabled by superthin metal surface coating. Small. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.202203310
The rapid advancement of transmission electron microscopy has resulted in revolutions in a variety of fields, including physics, chemistry, and materials science. With single-atom resolution, 3D information of each atom in nanoparticles is revealed, while 4D electron tomography is shown to capture the atomic structural kinetics in metal nanoparticles after phase transformation. Quantitative measurements of physical and chemical properties such as chemical coordination, defects, dislocation, and local strain have been made. However, due to the incompatibility of high dose rate with other ultrathin morphologies, such as nanowires, atomic electron tomography has been primarily limited to quasi-spherical nanoparticles. Herein, the 3D atomic structure of a complex core–shell nanowire composed of an ultrathin Boerdijk–Coxeter–Bernal (BCB) core nanowire and a noble metal thin layer shell deposited on the BCB nanowire surface is discovered. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that a new superthin noble metal layer deposition on an ultrathin BCB nanowire could mitigate electron beam damage using an in situ transmission electron microscope and atomic resolution electron tomography. The colloidal coating method developed for electron tomography can be broadly applied to protect the ultrathin nanomaterials from electron beam damage, benefiting both the advanced material characterizations and enabling fundamental in situ mechanistic studies.
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