Structure determination of beam sensitive crystals by rotation electron diffraction : the impact of sample cooling
Sammanfattning: Electron crystallography is complementary to X-ray crystallography. Single crystal X-ray diffraction requires the size of a crystal to be larger than about 5 × 5 × 5 μm3 while a TEM allows a million times smaller crystals being studied. This advantage of electron crystallography has been used to solve new structures of small crystals. One method which has been used to collect electron diffraction data is rotation electron diffraction (RED) developed at Stockholm University. The RED method combines the goniometer tilt and beam tilt in a TEM to achieve 3D electron diffraction data. Using a high angle tilt sample holder, RED data can be collected to cover a tilt range of up to 140o. Here the crystal structures of several different compounds have been determined using RED. The structure of needle-like crystals on the surface of NiMH particles was solved as La(OH)2. A structure model of metal-organic layers has been built based on RED data. A 3D MOF structure was solved from RED data. Two halide perovskite structures and two newly synthesized aluminophosphate structures were solved. For those beam sensitive crystals characterized here, sample cooling down to -170oC was used to reduce the beam damage. The low temperature not only reduces electron beam damage, but also keeps the structure more stable in the high vacuum in a TEM and improves the quality of the diffraction data. It is shown that cooling can improve the resolution of diffraction data for MOFs and zeolites, for samples undergoing phase changes at low temperature, the data quality could be worse by cooling. In summary, cooling can improve the ED data quality as long as the low temperature does not trigger structural changes.
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