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Issue 8, 2007
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Elucidating the assembled structure of amphiphiles in solution via cryogenic transmission electron microscopy

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Abstract

For the past twenty years, significant progress has been made in both developing cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) technology and understanding assembled behavior of amphiphilic molecules. Cryo-TEM can provide high-resolution images of complex fluids in a near in situ state. Samples embedded in a thin layer of vitrified solvent do not exhibit artifacts that would normally occur when using chemical fixation or staining-and-drying techniques. Cryo-TEM has been useful in imaging biological molecules in aqueous solutions. Cryo-TEM has become a powerful tool in the study of in situ-assembled structures of amphiphiles in solution as a complementary tool to small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering, light scattering, rheology measurements, and nuclear magnetic resonance. The application of cryo-TEM in the study of assembled behavior of amphiphilic block copolymers, hydrogels, and other complex soft systems continues to emerge. In this context, the usage of cryo-TEM in the field of amphiphilic complex fluids and self-assembled nano-materials is briefly reviewed, and its unique role in exploring the nature of assembled structure in liquid suspension is highlighted.

Graphical abstract: Elucidating the assembled structure of amphiphiles in solution via cryogenic transmission electron microscopy

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Mar 2007, accepted on 31 May 2007 and first published on 28 Jun 2007


Article type: Emerging Area
DOI: 10.1039/B704194B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2007,3, 945-955
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    Elucidating the assembled structure of amphiphiles in solution via cryogenic transmission electron microscopy

    H. Cui, T. K. Hodgdon, E. W. Kaler, L. Abezgauz, D. Danino, M. Lubovsky, Y. Talmon and D. J. Pochan, Soft Matter, 2007, 3, 945
    DOI: 10.1039/B704194B

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