Exploring Environmental Reactions in “Real World” Materials using In Situ Analytical TEM

M.G. Burke, A. Janssen, M.L. Martin, G. Bertali, E. Prestat, T. Woodward, P. Sofronis, and B. Connolly, 2018
Atmosphere in situ TEM holder and manifold
Image courtesy of Microscopy and Microanalysis


Environment-sensitive behaviour of materials encompasses a broad range of degradation phenomena in metals and alloys. The interaction of metallic materials with the environment is of fundamental importance in understanding a material’s performance in “real world” applications. Of particular significance is the effect of liquid and/or gaseous environments on the material of interest. The ability to visualize the localised changes associated with oxidation in gaseous environments and dissolution reactions in liquids coupled with qualitative STEM-XED spectrum imaging and analysis is now providing unprecedented opportunities for real-time observations that can lead to improved mechanistic understanding of nanoscale oxidation, and localised dissolution/corrosion, including the local electrochemical changes.

Impact Statement

The authors studied localised oxidation reactions pertinent to stress corrosion cracking in Ni-base alloys as well as the oxidation of steels in liquid and gaseous environments.