Microscopy and Microanalysis

Material Applications

Electron-Beam-Induced Growth of TiO2 Nanostructures

See Wee Cheea1 p1 c1, Shankar Sivaramakrishnana2, Renu Sharmaa3a4 and Jian-Min Zuoa2

a1 LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA

a2 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 68101, USA

a3 National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA

a4 School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA


We report the evolution of titanium dioxide nanostructures when Au nanoparticles, supported on single crystal TiO2 substrates, were heated under ∼260 Pa of flowing O2 in an environmental transmission electron microscope. Nanostructures with different morphologies were first observed around 500°C. Our measurements show that temperature, oxygen pressure, and the electron beam control the nanostructure growth. We propose a reaction-controlled growth mechanism where mobile Ti atoms generated by the electron- beam-induced reduction of TiO2 are preferentially reoxidized at the Au-TiO2 interface.

(Received June 09 2010)

(Accepted November 15 2010)

(Online publication February 01 2011)


c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: see.chee@asu.edu

p1 See Wee Chee is currently at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York


The full description of the procedures used in this article requires the identification of certain commercial products and their suppliers. The inclusion of such information should in no way be construed as indicating that such products or suppliers are endorsed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or are recommended by NIST or that they are necessarily the best materials, instruments, software, or suppliers for the purposes described.