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Stanford researchers make movies of photochemistry in single nanoparticles

transmission electron microscope image of a palladium nanocube
Image credit: Michal Vadai
Nov 7 2018
Fellow, Research, Stanford, Students

When Michal Vadai’s experiment worked for the first time, she jumped out of her seat.

Vadai, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, had spent months designing and troubleshooting a new tool that could greatly expand the capability of an advanced microscope at the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities. Despite heavy skepticism from the microscopy community, she and her fellow researchers were attempting a union between light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy that, if successful, would reveal a single particle undergoing a light-activated reaction.

“I cannot stress how exciting it was to make it work the first time. It was a huge technological challenge,” said Vadai, who is in the lab of Jennifer Dionne, associate professor of materials science and engineering. “The first time we got the beginning of an experimental result, we were shouting out loud. It was very, very exciting that we could see and control what was happening to this nanoparticle with light.”

Co-authors of the paper include Fariah Hayee, a 2018 DARE Fellow, and Katherine Sytwu, a 2014 EDGE-STEM Fellow.

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