A solid-liquid interface in the Al–Si system has been observed at near-atomic resolution by in-situ heating experiments inside transmission electron microscopes. Chemical mapping was also attempt to detect distribution of constituent atoms near a solid–hquid interface.
Mixtures of Al particles and Si particles, the diameter of which ranged from 200nm to 800nm, were mounted on a specimen–heating holder developed by Kamino and Saka and examined in a Hitachi H–9000NAR and a Hitachi HF–2000 electron microscope, operated at accelerating voltages of 300 and 200kV, respectively. Heating these specimens above the melting point of pure Al inside the microscopes resulted in the melting of the Al particles. The liquid Al reacted with nearby Si, leading to the formation of Al–Si alloy phase. An interface between solid Si and Al–Si alloy hquid and also an interface between solid Al and Al–Si alloy liquid were observed. The dynamical behaviour was recorded continuously using TV–VTR systems. The distribution of Al and Si was visualized using a Gatan imaging filter GIF analyzer.