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Frontiers of in situ electron microscopy

  • Haimei Zheng (a1), Ying Shirley Meng (a2) and Yimei Zhu (a3)


In situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has become an increasingly important tool for materials characterization. It provides key information on the structural dynamics of a material during transformations and the ability to correlate a material’s structure and properties. With the recent advances in instrumentation, including aberration-corrected optics, sample environment control, the sample stage, and fast and sensitive data acquisition, in situ TEM characterization has become more powerful. In this article, a brief review of the current status and future opportunities of in situ TEM is provided. The article also introduces the six articles in this issue of MRS Bulletin exploring the frontiers of in situ electron microscopy, including liquid and gas environmental TEM, dynamic four-dimensional TEM, studies on nanomechanics and ferroelectric domain switching, and state-of-the-art atomic imaging of light elements (i.e., carbon atoms) and individual defects.

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