In this post I show how to prepare easily and quickly a sample of powder of magnesium oxide nanocrystals.
Magnesium is highly flammable, especially when powdered or shaved into thin strips, though it is difficult to ignite in mass or bulk. Flame temperatures of magnesium and magnesium alloys can reach 3,100 °C (3,370 K; 5,610 °F). (Reference: Dreizin, Edward L.; Berman, Charles H. & Vicenzi, Edward P. (2000). “Condensed-phase modifications in magnesium particle combustion in air”. Scripta Materialia. 122: 30–42).
The next video shows the full sequence of the preparation of a copper grid with lacey carbon that is suitable for its observation using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Also, several TEM images of the perfect cubes that can be formed are shown.
Because of it cleanliness and the perfect shapes of the crystals, the sample is perfect for research in electron microscopy. For example it can be used as a standard for electron tomography reconstruction algorithms or for high-resolution TEM quantification. Also to test the accuracy of metrological measurements of BF-DF TEM or STEM images, or to study diffraction contrast, just to mention a few applications.
Enjoy the video!