Investigating the thermal stability of metallic and non-metallic nanoparticles using a novel graphene oxide-based transmission electron microscopy heating-membrane

by N. M. Batra, P. Doggali, S. P. Nunes, P. M. F. J. Costa

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Nanotechnology 33 (2022) 255701


In recent years, graphene has been explored as a heating membrane for studying hightemperature dynamics inside the transmission electron microscope (TEM) due to several limitations with the existing silicon nitride-based membrane. However, the transfer of monolayer graphene films for TEM experiments is challenging and requires many complicated steps with a minimum success rate. This work developed a novel in situ heating platform by combining the graphene oxide (GO) flakes in the pre-patterned chips. The isolated GO flake was self-suspended between the metal electrodes by a simple drop-casting process. The GO was reduced and characterized using Raman and electron energy-loss spectroscopy. Furthermore, a GO-based heater was used to investigate the thermal stability of gold and silica nanoparticles. The gold nanoparticles evaporated non-uniformly and left an empty carbon shell, while silica disappeared uniformly by etching carbon support. We successfully demonstrated a GO flake as a heating membrane to study high temperature thermal dynamic reactions: melting/evaporation, agglomeration, Rayleigh instability, and formation/or removal of carbon in the nanoparticles.