Factors influencing quantitative liquid (scanning) transmission electron microscopy
One of the experimental challenges in the study of nanomaterials in liquids in the (scanning) transmission electron microscope ((S)TEM) is gaining quantitative information. A successful experiment in the fluid stage will depend upon the ability to plan for sensitive factors such as the electron dose applied, imaging mode, acceleration voltage, beam-induced solution chemistry changes, and the specifics of solution reactivity. In this paper, we make use of a visual approach to show the extent of damage of different instrumental and experimental factors in liquid samples imaged in the (S)TEM. Previous results as well as new insights are presented to create an overview of beam–sample interactions identified for changing imaging and experimental conditions. This work establishes procedures to understand the effect of the electron beam on a solution, provides information to allow for a deliberate choice of the optimal experimental conditions to enable quantification, and identifies the experimental factors that require further analysis for achieving fully quantitative results in the liquid (S)TEM.