KENBIKYO Vol.53▶No.3 2018
■Feature Articles: Electron Tomography for the Case of TEM, from Soft to Hard

In situ Three-Dimensional Observation of Rubber Materials under Tensile Deformation

Hiroshi Jinnai

Abstract: We developed a novel straining holder for soft materials that is capable of tilt specimens to a high-angle for electron tomography under stretching. A sample cartridge is mounted on the tensile holder, on which a variety of soft material samples such as microtomed thin sections of bulk specimens and solvent-cast thin films. Fine, stable control of the deformation process with nanoscale magnification was achieved. The holder allows large tensile deformation and a high tilt angle (up to 75°) during in situ observations. With the large tensile deformation, the strain on the specimen can be as large as 50. The dynamic mechanical deformation and fracture processes of soft materials in micro- and meso-scopic scales will be observed with by combining the holder with a transmission electron microscope. We used this technique to study the deformation process in a silica nanoparticle-filled isoprene rubber.

Key words: Transmission Electron Microcopy (TEM), tensile strain, in-situ observation, electron tomography, soft material