Hummingbird Scientific launched the first commercial liquid-cell TEM holder in 2006 and award-winning liquid-electrochemical holder in 2008, allowing liquid-electrochemical experiments inside the TEM. Now, Hummingbird Scientific’s new Optical Liquid-Electrochemistry holder allows for the application of light inside an in-situ TEM liquid-electrochemical cell. The optical liquid holder provides optical feedthrough which allows the user to conduct photosensitive and electro(chemical) experiments in a liquid environment in the TEM and directly observe the effect of light on material behavior.
The new optical holder addresses the need for light application capabilities in the fields of:
Potential research may focus on water splitting with the use of catalytic materials, for example using H2 generation as a fuel source, or CO2 conversion for liquid fuel.Edit
How It Works
The optical liquid-electrochemistry TEM holder has the same capabilities as the standard liquid-electrochemistry TEM holder, but can in addition apply light at the sample inside the liquid-electrochemical cell using a standard optical connector on the outside of the holder that can connect to most light sources.
The sample is illuminated with an optical fiber that illuminates the viewing area of the liquid-electrochemical cell. This allows for in-situ illumination of the sample in the TEM. The holder can be customized for different experiments as the fiber is configurable.Edit
Accessories available for your optical liquid holder:
- Specialized liquid-electrochemical chips with a wide range of patterns and electrode materials
- Seal checking station
- Vacuum tip cover
2D materials for photoelectrochemical water-splitting
Photoelectrochemistry provides a promising, environmentally friendly route to hydrogen production; however, the atomic scale mechanisms of the photocatalysts that facilitate the water splitting reaction are currently poorly understood. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have studied the photocatalytic activity of several 2D nanomaterials such as gold nanoprisms and MoS2 flakes. The research focused on the correlation between I-V characteristics with water splitting and simultaneous structural changes at the catalytically active sites. The I-V characteristic curves with the illuminated catalyst shows additional activity in the oxidation regime when operating in in-situ illuminated conditions, whereas these are not seen without catalytic particles. TEM images show the formation of gas bubbles induced at the working electrode with illumination of the catalysts corresponding to water splitting.
Image Right – Top: Schematic showing optical setup in liquid cell and redox IV characteristics of catalytic active material with and without light. Hydrogen evolution and bubble formation at the electrode-electrolyte interface. From left to right, the evolution of bubble formation is captured as a function of time and applied potential.
HBS internal data obtained in collaboration with Pawan Kumar, Deep Jariwala and Eric Stach at the University of Pennsylvania.Edit