Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Multi-environment Nanocalorimeter with Electrical Contacts for Use in the Scanning Electron Microscope



Feng Yi, Ana Stevanovic, William A. Osborn, Andrei A. Kolmakov, David A. LaVan


We have developed a versatile nanocalorimeter sensor which allows imaging and electrical measurements of samples under different gaseous environments using the scanning electron microscope (SEM) and can simultaneously measure the sample temperature and associated heat of reaction. This new sensor consists of four independent heating/sensing elements for nanocalorimetry and eight electrodes for electrical measurements, all mounted on a 50 nm thick, 250 µm x 250 µm suspended silicon nitride membrane. This membrane is highly electron transparent and mechanically robust enabling in situ SEM under realistic temperatures, environmental conditions and pressures up to one atmosphere. To demonstrate this new capability, we report here on 1) in situ SEM-nanocalorimetry study of melting and solidification of polyethylene oxide, 2) the electron beam induced current measurements of a nanowire in vacuum and air; 3) the temperature dependence of conductivity of a nanowire. Furthermore, the sensor is easily adaptable to operate in liquid environment and is compatible with most existing SEM. This versatile platform couples nanocalorimetry with in situ SEM imaging under various gaseous and liquid environments and is applicable to materials research, nanotechnology, energy, catalysis and biomedical applications.
Materials Horizons


Nano, calorimeter, calorimetry, thermal analysis, electron microscope, SEM, environmental, nanowire, in situ
Created September 11, 2017, Updated October 6, 2017