Atomic-Resolution Cryo-STEM across Continuously Variable Temperatures

Berit H. Goodge, Elisabeth Bianco, Noah Schnitzer, Henny W. Zandbergen, Lena F. Kourkoutis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Atomic-resolution cryogenic scanning transmission electron microscopy (cryo-STEM) has provided a path to probing the microscopic nature of select low-temperature phases in quantum materials. Expanding cryo-STEM techniques to broadly tunable temperatures will give access to the rich temperature-dependent phase diagrams of these materials. With existing cryo-holders, however, variations in sample temperature significantly disrupt the thermal equilibrium of the system, resulting in large-scale sample drift. The ability to tune the temperature without negative impact on the overall instrument stability is crucial, particularly for high-resolution experiments. Here, we test a new side-entry continuously variable temperature dual-tilt cryo-holder which integrates liquid nitrogen cooling with a 6-pin micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) sample heater to overcome some of these experimental challenges. We measure consistently low drift rates of 0.3-0.4 Å/s and demonstrate atomic-resolution cryo-STEM imaging across a continuously variable temperature range from ∼100 K to well above room temperature. We conduct additional drift stability measurements across several commercial sample stages and discuss implications for further developments of ultra-stable, flexible cryo-stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-446
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • atomic-resolution
  • cryo-stages
  • cryo-STEM
  • side-entry TEM holder
  • variable temperature STEM

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