A new holder for transmission electron microscope (TEM) to observe morphological changes of soft materials during tensile deformation has been developed. Unlike the existing similar type of holders, this newly developed holder has a unique feature: the field of view does not move during the deformation, because both end of the specimen are stretched simultaneously. In addition, the holder is capable of imposing large tensile deformation (400% and more stretching possible) to specimens, and it also allows us to tilt specimens up to 75° for tomographic reconstruction.The combination of the holder withTEM, preferably equipped with energy filter to take an advantage of zero-loss image to improve the contrast and resolution for thick specimen, would give us both meso- and micro-scopic insights for dynamic mechanical deformation and fracture processes of polymeric materials.
Polymer nano-composites, in which nano-scale fillers dispersed in polymeric matrix, are then subjected to study the deformation and fracture processes. It was successfully observed that the aggregates were deformed under extension, and then the nano-voids formed formed around the aggregates. Uniformity of the structural deformation at nanometer scale (with respect to the macroscopic deformation) will be discussed.