Research from the Jenkins Group was recently published in ACS Nano for their work “In Situ Monitoring of the Seeding and Growth of Silver MetalOrganic Nanotubes by Liquid-Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy“. Kristina Vailonis was one of the primary authors of this piece. Vailonis recently graduated with her PhD from the University of Tennessee’s Department of Chemistry.
Metal–organic nanotubes (MONTs) are highly ordered one-dimensional crystalline porous frameworks. Despite being nanomaterials, virtually all studies of MONTs rely on characterization of the bulk crystalline material (micron-sized) by single-crystal X-ray diffraction.
This research analyzes their formations under a variety of reaction conditions in solution, and employ liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy (LCTEM), which allows the early stages of MONT assembly to be monitored in real time.
Changing the metal-to-ligand ratio alters the local concentrations of reactant monomers, resulting in multiple nucleation and growth pathways and diverse morphologies at the nanoscale.
“As we develop MONTs, it is critical to characterize them on the nanoscale before they have grown into bulk 3D materials that are microns in size,” said Jenkins “By collaborating with experts on liquid cell-TEM, we can observe the chemical reactions and watch these 1D materials grow in real time.”