Nanocrystal Diffusion in a Liquid Thin Film Observed by in situ Transmission Electron Microscopy Page: 3 of 17
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Supporting Information and related techniques by Williamson et al.12). For imaging,
about a hundred nanoliters of a dilute solution of Au nanoparticles in a water-glycerol
mixture was loaded into one of the reservoirs in the liquid cell. The solution was dilute in
order to avoid interactions between the gold particles for this work, although
concentrated solutions could also be examined by this method (see liquid sample
preparation in Supporting Information). Liquid solution was drawn from the reservoir
into the window by capillary forces and formed a liquid layer confined between two
electron transparent silicon nitride membranes. Subsequently, the liquid cell was sealed
and loaded into a TEM as a standard TEM sample.
The liquid slowly evaporates inside the microscope due to the imperfect seal of
the cell in a vacuum environment and a relative high vapor pressure of the liquid.
Consequently, one side of the liquid film generally detaches from the silicon nitride
membrane, creating a vapor-liquid interface. Observations are thus of particles moving in
a thin liquid film between a solid substrate and a liquid-vapor interface, as it would occur
during most drying processes. Due to the slow evaporation rate of the fluid (-1 nm/min,
see Supporting Information), our observations are of the particle motion in a liquid thin
film with negligible changes in the film thickness.
We first study the nanoparticle motion before the formation of drying patches and
when the liquid thickness is close to but greater than the nanoparticle diameter.
Throughout this period, the nanoparticles execute a complex trajectory of motions which
show significant effects from the substrate surface. From image analysis, we obtain data
sets consisting of a particle's two-dimensional center-of-mass positions
R(t) = [x(t),y(t,)] in the lab frame with spatial resolution of 1 nm and temporal
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Zheng, Haimei; Claridge, Shelley A.; Minor, Andrew M.; Alivisatos, A. Paul & Dahmen, Ulrich. Nanocrystal Diffusion in a Liquid Thin Film Observed by in situ Transmission Electron Microscopy, article, April 17, 2009; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1012937/m1/3/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.