Novel sample preparation for operando TEM of catalysts

Benjamin K. Miller, Trevor M. Barker, Peter Crozier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A new TEM sample preparation method is developed to facilitate operando TEM of gas phase catalysis. A porous Pyrex-fiber pellet TEM sample was produced, allowing a comparatively large amount of catalyst to be loaded into a standard Gatan furnace-type tantalum heating holder. The increased amount of catalyst present inside the environmental TEM allows quantitative determination of the gas phase products of a catalytic reaction performed in-situ at elevated temperatures. The product gas concentration was monitored using both electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and residual gas analysis (RGA). Imaging of catalyst particles dispersed over the pellet at atomic resolution is challenging, due to charging of the insulating glass fibers. To overcome this limitation, a metal grid is placed into the holder in addition to the pellet, allowing catalyst particles dispersed over the grid to be imaged, while particles in the pellet, which are assumed to experience identical conditions, contribute to the overall catalytic conversion inside the environmental TEM cell. The gas within the cell is determined to be well-mixed, making this assumption reasonable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Catalyst
  • EELS
  • Environmental TEM (ETEM)
  • In-situ TEM
  • Operando
  • TEM sample

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation


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