In Situ TEM Heating

Real-time imaging of thermal dynamics

The Wildfire In Situ Heating Series enables researchers to perform thermal studies in a controlled and stable environment within your TEM. Catering for a variety of application spaces, the Wildfire In Situ Heating Series transforms your high-end TEM from a static imaging tool to a multi-functional laboratory.






Temperature Stability

Wildfire Application Fields

Heat Treatment

Studying the dynamic structure response through the process of heat treatment is necessary for understanding and improving a materials properties. The Wildfire system allows for researchers to understand the nano-scale structure changes during heat treatment, which will allow for the adoption of those processes to be used in real-world applications in developing lighter, stronger and higher performing materials.

Failure Analysis

When materials are placed under extreme and long term thermal exposure, this can result in dramatic structure changes and failure. The Wildfire system allows for real-time nano-scale observation of these structure changes to provide insights and understandings on how to improve its performance and final application use.

The Wildfire System


The Wildfire system consists of 4 main components:

  1. Nano-Chip
  2. Sample holder
  3. Heating control unit
  4. Control software

Get more from your TEM, 3 reasons to choose for Wildfire

Investigating materials in the real-world thermal environment expands the application space of a conventional TEM and enhances its already powerful imaging capabilities. The Wildfire system allows for researchers to heat from room temperature to 1,300 °C with the ultimate in control and sample stability. The stability of the Wildfire system ensures that the full resolution performance of every TEM can be maintained during imaging of sample dynamics at elevated temperature.

Reason 1:
Sample stability
during heating & quenching

Experiment: Au at 50 °C to 350 °C to 50 °C Many application examples, such as quench hardening of steels, requires immediate sample stability after rapid heating or cooling to capture the real-time dynamic changes in the material. This video shows the unbeatable stability of the Wildfire heating system when instantly heating and quenching between 50 °C and 350 °C. The sample shift of only 20 nm is measured at the immediate moment of the 300 °C  fast temperature change.

Reason 2:
Atomic resolution
at 800 °C

Experiment: AuPd at 800 °C This real-time HRTEM video and corresponding FFT of a sputtered AuPd film was recorded at 800 °C. Even at such high temperatures, the FFT shows the information transfer to be 1 Å and measured sample drift as low as 6 pm / second. Such impressive performance in resolution and stability is the result of the Nano-Chip which is based on MEMS technology.

Reason 3:

Experiment: Perovskite solar cell at 85 °C

Obtaining the ‘game changing’ experimental results is the goal of any researcher – academic or industry. The team at Cambridge University focusing on energy related materials used the Wildfire system to study perovskite based solar cells and its related degradation processes during heating. These solar cells composites have become increasingly popular, however, the stability and lifetime of such devices are of concern due to the material rapidly degrading when ~85 °C and above. In situ TEM was used to understand the changes in morphology and chemical composition, leading to an improved understanding of the degradation evolution and Nature Energy publication.
Heat-induced degradation of perovskite solar cells. G. Divitini, et al. University of Cambridge Nature Energy 2016. DOI: 10.1038/nenergy.2015.12


Sample carrier for real-time thermal studies

The Nano-Chip creates the elevated temperature environment surrounding the sample with its 4-point-probe micro-heater. Each Nano-Chip has a built-in temperature sensor, as the 4 contact system allows for locally calculating the temperature with a fast feedback for fast and accurate temperature stability.

Local Sensor

RT – 1,300 °C

Ultimate in Stability

Sample Holder

Bringing the ‘in situ’ to your TEM

Double Tilt

Mechanical Stability

EDS Optimized

The Wildfire range of Sample Holders are optimised for specific application areas of research. The single tilt options include high tilt up to 70°, EDS optimised and a custom ‘glove box’ design of Sample Holder. The double tilt range of Sample Holders are the most popular covering the largest application space, offering up to 25° +/- tilt and recently upgraded EDS tilt cradle optimisation for minimising background signal.

Software & Hardware

A seamless ‘plug & play’ system for total control

The Digiheater Software (or Gatan GMS) provides the user with full control over the temperature environment with direct control, cycling or profiling all plotted on a Temperature vs Time graph. Connected with the Control Box, the combination provides a very fast feedback system to accurately control the temperature environment at the sample.  Read more for the Gatan GMS integration.

Gatan GMS3 Integration

Synchronised stimulus & data for greater analysis

DENSsolutions & Gatan have partnered to integrate the Wildfire system with the GMS3 software package creating the Wildfire In Situ Plug-in. Optimised for in situ TEM experiments, the integrated plug-in provides researchers with total control over the in situ stimuli, camera settings, images and more! In situ researchers can now incorporate EELS, microscope control and in situ settings into one simplified and streamlined quantitative analysis tool. Researchers can now spending their time and focus on understanding the dynamic results!

Some great work from our customers:


“In-situ Transmission Electron Microscopy is one of the most exciting avenues for future breakthroughs in the characterization of dynamic processes in nano scale materials and devices. The DENSsolutions sample heating systems have performed impressively in experiments carried out in the Ernst Ruska-Centre.”

Professor Rafal Dunin-Borkowski

Director, Ernst Ruska-Centre (ER-C) Forschungezentrum Jülich, Germany

“The temperature accuracy and spatial stability of the DENSSolutions heating holder are truly impressive – much better than alternatives we tried.  Our research on liquid dynamics with time-resolved diffraction would be impossible without it.”

Professor Paul Voyles

Materials Science and Engineering University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

“The DENSsolutions holder impressed me with high resolution imaging and extreme stability at high temperatures. It is exciting that the picture taken with the DENSsolutions holder shows superior performance compared to other holders. As long as we have got the DENSsolutions holder, we have got the in-situ world spinning in our hand.”

Professor Xiaoyan Zhong

Tsinghua University Beijing, China

“In-situ TEM provides a new dimension in dynamic structural studies of a range of technologically important materials. The Department of Materials at Oxford will use the DENSsolutions sample heating holder in a number of projects related to catalysis and low dimensional carbon materials. We have chosen this solution for its unrivaled stability and control.”

Professor Angus Kirkland

Professor of Materials University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the tilt range of the Wildfire range?
This tilt range is dependent on your TEM (JEOL or FEI) and size of pole-piece (UHR or Supertwin). Each of these tilt ranges are specified in the brochure. Here is the summary based on the largest pole-piece: Wildfire S3 – Alpha tilt + / – 30 degrees Wildfire S5 – Alpha tilt + / – 70 degrees Wildfire D6 – Alpha tilt + / – 25 decrees & beta tilt + / – 25 degrees

What is the best achievable resolution at elevated temperature?

During tests the resolution of 0.6 Å was achieved at 800 °C using JEOL ARM. The resolution is dependent on your TEM, however, using the Wildfire solution the achievable resolution at elevated temperature will be as good as for your standard TEM holder.

What is the temperature range for the Wildfire system?
The type of metal heater used in the Nano-Chip determines the working temperature range. We currently offer the ‘standard use’ Nano-Chip ST (RT to 800 °C) and the ‘ultra high’ Nano-Chip XT (RT to 1,300 °C).

Is Wildfire compatible with EDX?
Yes. All Wildfire systems are compatible with EDX, with the Wildfire S3 series optimised for EDX detection. The Wildfire D6 has an optimised Nano-Chip cradle which uses a light material to decrease the signal to the EDX detector. Due to the 300 x 300 um heater using only a few mWatts of power to heat to elevated temperatures, EDX signal can now be obtained at elevated temperatures. However, as heating induces photo emission, the majority of EDX detectors can obtained signal in the RT to 650 °C range. Some testing has been performed at temperatures at ~750 °C, however, this is dependent on your microscope/EDX setup.

Can a Wildfire system be used for biasing experiments?
We support customers in upgrading their Wildfire D6 FEI or JEOL systems to perform biasing experiments. This is the Lightning D6+ Upgrade. In the case that the customer develops their own MEMS devices for biasing experiments, the Wildfire holder is able to be used in conjunction with these ‘home-made’ MEMS devices.

Download the Wildfire brochure

For more information on workflow, applications and specifications.

Contact us

Feel free to contact us with any further questions.


Request a Demo or Quote

Request a quotation or demonstration at your lab.


Contact us

Feel free to contact us with any further questions.

Request a Demo or Quote

Request a quotation or demonstration at your lab.