The introduction of gaseous atmospheres in transmission electron microscopy offers the possibility of studying materials in situ under chemically relevant environments. The presence of a gas environment can degrade the resolution. Surprisingly, this phenomenon has been shown to depend on the electron-dose-rate. In this article, we demonstrate that both the total and areal electron-dose-rates work as descriptors for the dose-rate-dependent resolution and are related through the illumination area. Furthermore, the resolution degradation was observed to occur gradually over time after initializing the illumination of the sample and gas by the electron beam. The resolution was also observed to be sensitive to the electrical conductivity of the sample. These observations can be explained by a charge buildup over the electron-illuminated sample area, caused by the beam–gas–sample interaction, and by a subsequent sample motion induced by electrical capacitance in the sample.
- Transmission electron microscopy
- In situ
- Gas environment
- Sample charging