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Micro-fabricated channel with ultra-thin yet ultra-strong windows enables electron microscopy under 4-bar pressure

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8 Author(s)
Alan, Tuncay ; Delft Institute of Microsystems and Nanoelectronics, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CT Delft, The Netherlands ; Yokosawa, Tadahiro ; Gaspar, Joao ; Pandraud, Gregory
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Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of (de-)hydrogenation reactions is crucial to characterize efficiency of hydrogen storage materials. The nanoreactor, a micromachined channel with 15-nm-thick windows, effectively confines the gas flow to an electron-transparent chamber during TEM of reactions. Realistic experiments require very high pressures to be sustained by the device. Nanomechanical bulge tests and simulations show that due to a very strong size effect, ultra-thin device components can reliably withstand tensile stresses as high as 19.5 GPa enabling high pressure operation. We use the device to characterize Pd particles under a 4-bar H2 pressure within the ultra-high-vacuum of the TEM.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:100 ,  Issue: 8 )