Faculté des sciences

A guide to investigating colloidal nanoparticles by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy: pitfalls and benefits

Monnier, Christophe A. ; Thévenaz, David C. ; Balog, Sandor ; Fiore, Gina L. ; Vanhecke, Dimitri ; Rothen-Rutishauser, Barbara ; Petri-Fink, Alke

In: AIMS Biophysics, 2015, vol. 2, no. 3, p. 245–258

Synthetic colloidal nanoparticles are nowadays omnipresent. Nonetheless, adequately characterizing them and interpreting the data is challenging, as their surrounding environment, e.g. the medium they are dispersed in, is often an active contributor to their size, morphology and structural integrity. In this regard, cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) is an ideal methodology. This... More

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    Summary
    Synthetic colloidal nanoparticles are nowadays omnipresent. Nonetheless, adequately characterizing them and interpreting the data is challenging, as their surrounding environment, e.g. the medium they are dispersed in, is often an active contributor to their size, morphology and structural integrity. In this regard, cryo-transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) is an ideal methodology. This article provides a general guidance for beginners and experts encountering this technique on the common benefits and pitfalls when characterizing synthetic nanoparticles. Illustrative experimental examples are presented which cover the importance of water as a supportive and structural component, along with contrast generation and electron beam damage.