Scientists at UCI’s Irvine Materials Research Institute have made a breakthrough in directly imaging a platinum precursor compound and its dynamic transformation into nanocrystals. The observation was made in real space and time in IMRI’s state-of-the-art transmission electron microscope facility. The research team’s results were published today in Science Advances. Knowing the dynamics and kinetics of materials transformation is useful in that it can lead to the ability to fine-tune substances to exhibit desired properties beneficial in fields ranging from energy conversion and storage to pharmaceuticals. Scientists have previously had difficulty imaging the nucleation and growth of novel crystalline nanomaterials because their chemical precursors are highly sensitive to the electron beams needed for atomic-resolution microscopy.