A technique for preparing vermiculites for examination by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) has been developed. A TEM-stable expanded phase can be obtained by intercalating n-alkylammonium ions between the silicate layers of a parent biotite. The vermiculite particles were embedded in Spurr resin and centrifuged to improve orientation. Ultra-thin specimens were prepared using an ultramicrotome, the quality and thickness of the sections being monitored by TEM. Lattice images of biotite, Ba-vermiculite and octylammonium-vermiculite, the latter showing a perpendicular arrangement of the alkyl chains relative to the silicate layers, were obtained with a resolution ∼2 Å. The reliability of these images was confirmed by computer simulation.