Unveiling the Microscopic Origins of Phase Transformations: An in Situ TEM Perspective †

Lei Yu, Bethany M. Hudak, Ahamed Ullah, Melonie P. Thomas, Chloe C. Porter, Ayanthi Thisera, Rose H. Pham, Manisha De Alwis Goonatilleke, Beth S. Guiton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Nanostructuring inorganic solids has been effective as a tool to control the identity of the thermodynamically stable phase under ambient conditions for many systems. In addition, size effects can alter not only the temperature but also the other characteristics of a transformation - such as order, mechanism, and kinetics - which may further be responsible for the transient existence of intermediates, both thermodynamic and metastable, not accessed in the bulk. Since understanding the mechanism of a phase transformation requires local, even atomistic, information, and a similar understanding of the kinetics requires this information to be collected in real-time, in situ microscopy has proved invaluable in identifying key features of transformations on the nanoscale and promises to play a key role in the future design and implementation of such systems. Here, we discuss the use of in situ heating and biasing in the transmission electron microscope to investigate phase transformations in inorganic, single-phase, solid-state, nanostructured systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-650
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under DMR 1455154 and OIA 1355438 (partial salary support for M.P.T.) and by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division (B.M.H.). Partial salary support was provided by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement via Scialog Award 26329 (A.U.) and by NASA Kentucky under NASA Award No. NN15AK28A (M.P.T.).

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Materials Chemistry


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