Observe Dynamic Processes with In-Situ TEM: Atomic-Scale Crystal Nucleation and Growth Dynamics

Observe dynamic details during in-situ TEM experiments with the Gatan OneView IS camera, at up to 25 fps with 16 MP images. In this example, researchers at the University of Tokyo captured crystal nucleation and growth at atomic scale.

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In-Situ TEM at 25 fps

The Gatan OneView IS camera is the fastest and highest performance fibre-coupled Gatan camera. It displays and records 16 MP images at up to 25 fps, for observing dynamic details during in-situ TEM experiments.

In this example, researchers used the OneView IS camera to continuously capture video of NaCl crystallites nucleating and growing within a carbon nanotube.

Crystal Nucleation and Growth

The nucleation and growth of crystals through self-organising atoms and molecules is key to many science and technology applications. Although the process has been studied for decades, observation at atomic scale remained a challenge.

A promising method for capturing the emergence of crystal nuclei is to contain the species inside carbon nanotubes. This limits their position so nucleation and growth can be studied more easily. In-situ TEM is then be used to capture the dynamic events in real time with the highest possible spatial resolution.

Observe Nucleation and Growth In-situ

Using a OneView IS camera in an image-corrected TEM, researchers continuously captured video of NaCl crystallites nucleating and growing while confined within a conical carbon nanotube.

Multiple nucleation and growth events were captured in a single continuous video, enabling measurement of dynamics such as nucleation time. The 132 second video below shows the formation of nine nanocrystals, consisting of >3300 frames.

This research is from the University of Tokyo by T. Nakamuro, M. Sakakibara, H. Nada, K. Harano, and E. Nakamura, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.


Using frames from the in-situ video, researchers measured the cross-sectional area of the NaCl crystallite. This showed stochastic variation in size during nucleation, and generally quantised values during growth.

The high image quality and constrained position of the nanocrystal within a carbon nanotube enabled detailed measurements to be taken. The process occurred 9 times during a single video, so it was possible to determine average nucleation times and calculate the variation.

Six frames from the video showing the nucleation and growth of a single NaCl nanocrystal.

Read the Full Publication

Full details of this research are available in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, published by T. Nakamuro, M. Sakakibara, H. Nada, K. Harano, and E. Nakamura of the University of Tokyo. Read the full publication here…

Details are available to download in a pdf experiment brief from Gatan.

Gatan OneView TEM Camera

Gatan OneView IS

In-situ TEM Camera

  • Large, high resolution 4k x 4k field of view.
  • 25 full frames per second.
  • CMOS sensor with built-in shutter.
  • Video buffer with post-event triggering and LookBack feature for capturing the start of reactions.
  • Use as the primary camera with FEI, Hitachi High Technologies and JEOL TEMs.

More Information

If you’d like further information about the OneView IS camera, please get in touch. Blue Scientific is the official distributor of Gatan instruments for electron microscopes in the Nordic region. We’re available to provide quotes, demonstrations and answer all your questions.

 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or info@blue-scientific.com

More articles about TEM

View the Gatan range