Mineralogical transformation of ferrihydrite in liquid cell TEM

Researchers at the Chinese Academic of Sciences, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Saskatchewan, and the Shenyang University of Chemical Technology observed using Hummingbird liquid cell TEM system that the transformation of 2-line ferrihydrite during the redox conversion process is an intricate process with multiple intermediate steps between the original reactant and product phase, not visible using conventional experimental techniques. Using an in-situ liquid cell, the researchers observed at least 6 intermediate steps from formation of round and wire-shaped precursors to dissolution into smaller nanoparticles to amorphous phase to final tabular crystals. The work published in Nanoscale Advances can help remove and stabilize a range of toxic elements in natural and man-made environments.

In-situ liquid cell showing an intermediate step of dissolution process during the formation of crystalline ferrihydrite. Copyright © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2020

Reference: Mario Alberto Gomez, Ruonan Jiang, Miao Song, Dongsheng Li, Alan Scott Lea, Xu Ma, Haibo Wang, Xiuling Yin, Shaofeng Wang, and Yongfeng Jia. Further insights into the Fe(ii) reduction of 2-line ferrihydrite: a semi in situ and in situ TEM study. Nanoscale Advances (2020).  Full paper

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