Mechanical properties and fracture behaviors of multiwalled WS2 nanotubes produced by large scale fluidized bed method were investigated under uniaxial tension using in situ transmission electron microscopy probing; these were directly correlated to the nanotube atomic structures. The tubes with the average outer diameter similar to 40 nm sustained tensile force of similar to 2949 nN and revealed fracture strength of similar to 11.8 GPa. Surprisingly, these rather thick WS2 nanotubes could bear much higher loadings than the thin WS2 nanotubes with almost "defect-free" structures studied previously. In addition, the fracture strength of the "thick" nanotubes did not show common size dependent degradation when the tube diameters increased from similar to 20 to similar to 60 nm. HRTEM characterizations and real time observations revealed that the anomalous tensile properties are related to the intershell cross-linking and geometric constraints from the inverted cone-shaped tube cap structures, which resulted in the multishell loading and fracturing.
In this review, a non-standard application of high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM), namely the creation of so-called NanoLaboratory for the nanomaterial property studies within its pole piece, is presented. The most modern research trends with respect to nanotube, graphene and nanowire, as well as electrical, mechanical and electromechanical properties are demonstrated. In addition, the unique possibilities of modeling real technological processes inside HRTEM, for example, the performance of Li-ion batteries, are illustrated. The contribution particularly highlights the recent research endeavors of our Tsukuba group in line with all the above-mentioned directions of in situ TEM.
Electron emission from individual graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) driven by an internal electric field was studied for the first time Inside a high resolution transmission electron microscope equipped with a state-of-art scanning tunneling microscope sample holder with independent twin probes. Electrons were driven out from Individual GNRs under an internal driving voltage of less than 3 V with an emission current increasing exponentially with the driving voltage. The emission characteristics were analyzed by taking Into account monatomic thickness of GNRs. While deviating from the two-dimensional Richardson equation for thermionic emission, they were well described by the recently proposed by us phonon-assisted electron emission model. Different from widely studied field electron emission from graphene edges, electrons were found to be emitted perpendicularly to the atomic graphene surfaces with an emission density as high as 12.7 A/cm(2). The internally driven electron emission is expected to be less sensitive to the microstructures of an emitter as compared to field emission. The low driving voltage, high emission density, and internal field driving character make the regarded electron emission highly promising for electron source applications.
Modern methods of in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) allow one to not only manipulate with a nanoscale object at the nanometer-range precision but also to get deep insights into its physical and chemical statuses. Dedicated TEM holders combining the capabilities of a conventional high-resolution TEM instrument and atomic force -, and/or scanning tunneling microscopy probes become the powerful tools in nanomaterials analysis. This progress report highlights the past, present and future of these exciting methods based on the extensive authors endeavors over the last five years. The objects of interest are diverse. They include carbon, boron nitride and other inorganic one- and two-dimensional nanoscale materials, e.g., nanotubes, nanowires and nanosheets. The key point of all experiments discussed is that the mechanical and electrical transport data are acquired on an individual nanostructure level under ultimately high spatial, temporal and energy resolution achievable in TEM, and thus can directly be linked to morphological, structural and chemical peculiarities of a given nanomaterial.
Substitutional carbon doping of the honeycomb-like boron nitride (BN) lattices in two-dimensional (nanosheets) and one-dimensional,(nanoribbons and nanotubes) nanostructures was achieved via in situ electron beam irradiation in an energy-filtering 300 kV high-resolution transmission electron microscope using a C atoms feedstock intentionally introduced into the microscope. The C substitutions for B and N atoms in the honeycomb lattices were demonstrated through electron energy loss spectroscopy, spatially resolved energy-filtered elemental mapping, and in situ electrical measurements. The preferential doping was found to occur at the sites more vulnerable to electron beam irradiation. This transformed BN nanostructures from electrical Insulators to conductors. It was shown that B and N atoms in a BN nanotube could be nearly completely replaced with C atoms via electron-beam-induced doping. The doping mechanism was proposed to rely on the knockout ejections-of B and N atoms and subsequent healing of vacancies with supplying C atoms.
A question of how electrons can escape from one surfaces has seldom been studied and is still not properly answered. Herein, lateral electron emission from a one-atom-thick surface is thoroughly studied for the first time. We study election emission from side surface of individual electrically biased carbon nanotubes (CNTs) both experimentally and theoretically and discover a new electron emission mechanism named phonon-assisted electron emission. A kinetic model based on coupled Boltzmann equations of electrons and optical phonons is proposed, and well describes experimentally measured lateral electron emission from CNTs. It is shown that the electrons moving along biased CNT can overflow from the one-atom-thick surface due to the absorption of hot forward-scattering optical phonons. A low working voltage, high emission density, and side emission character make phonon-assisted electron emission pin:nadir promising in electron source applications.