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Science. 2015 Jul 17;349(6245):290-5. doi: 10.1126/science.aab1343. Epub 2015 Jul 16.

Nanoparticle imaging. 3D structure of individual nanocrystals in solution by electron microscopy.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Department of Applied Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia. ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia.
3
Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
4
Department of Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
5
Princeton Center for Theoretical Science, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.
6
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science, University of California, Berkeley, CA 93720, USA.
7
Department of Physics, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan 689-798, South Korea.
8
Amore-Pacific Co. R&D Center, Yongin 446-829, South Korea.
9
Department of Applied Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
10
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Materials Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Kavli Energy NanoScience Institute, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. alivis@berkeley.edu.

Abstract

Knowledge about the synthesis, growth mechanisms, and physical properties of colloidal nanoparticles has been limited by technical impediments. We introduce a method for determining three-dimensional (3D) structures of individual nanoparticles in solution. We combine a graphene liquid cell, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, a direct electron detector, and an algorithm for single-particle 3D reconstruction originally developed for analysis of biological molecules. This method yielded two 3D structures of individual platinum nanocrystals at near-atomic resolution. Because our method derives the 3D structure from images of individual nanoparticles rotating freely in solution, it enables the analysis of heterogeneous populations of potentially unordered nanoparticles that are synthesized in solution, thereby providing a means to understand the structure and stability of defects at the nanoscale.

PMID:
26185247
DOI:
10.1126/science.aab1343
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