Electron Microscope Market to Advance with New Technique that Enables Visualization of Hidden Reactions

  • Analysis
  • 02-February-2021

Transmission Electron Microscopy is an instrument that uses a beam with highly energetic neutrons to examine an object. It is usually able to take images at a sub-nanometer resolution. However, it is commonly used for frozen samples and is not capable of handling chemical reactions as well as it should.

 In Transmission Electron Microscopy, an electron beam is fired. It goes through the vacuum towards the subject. The electrons that come out the other side are then studied so that an image can be developed. This is problematic as, if the beam fired too many electrons, the chemical reaction will be affected, and hence, the quality of the image will decline-This referred to as a problem of the observer effect, meaning that what we get is different from what we would have received if we were not observing the process.

In order to solve this problem, researchers have developed a new microscopy method that would enable scientists to observe building blocks of ‘smart materials’ at the nanoscale. This chemical process may very well alter the future of medicine and clean water. It is the first time, when individuals involved in electron microscopy would be able to envisage this level of polymerization in real-time.

This new research may further advance the Electron Microscope Market as it enables one to see the reaction that takes place and formed the nanostructures. It would facilitate scientists to learn and take advantage of other things that it can do also. These nanomaterials would also bring a positive effect on the environment as they can be used to soak oil spills in water bodies or other pollutants that are responsible for harming aquatic life. In the medical sector as well, the new microscopy method can be used as the foundation for a ‘smart’ drug delivery system. It can be modified so that it will enter the human cells and release therapeutic molecules when commanded.

The team formed this new microscopy method by inserting the nanoscale polymer material into an enclosed liquid cell. This cell is liable for protecting the materials from the vacuum within the electron microscope. These materials are designed in such a way that they will respond to changes in temperature. Hence, self-assembly would only begin when the insides of the liquid cells reach a pre-determined temperature.

The liquid cell made consists of a silicon chip and small yet powerful electrodes that are responsible for heating the elements. The chip has a tiny window embedded inside, which is 200 x 50 nanometers in dimension. It is responsible for permitting the low-energy beam to pass through the liquid cell.

The chip raises the temperature inside the liquid cell to 60°C resulting in the commencement of self-assembly. One can record the process of formation and behavior of the block copolymers owing to the tiny window embedded in the chip.

The new microscopy method can further become a tool that would help studies like material science and structural biology. Integrating the approach with machine learning algorithms will lead to an examination of images. Resolution can be refined and improved more and more by such a combination.
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