Recent advances in the water–energy landscape hinge upon our improved understanding of the complex morphology of materials involved in water treatment and energy production. Due to their versatility and tunability for applications ranging from drug delivery to fuel cells, polymeric systems will play a crucial role in shaping the future of water–energy nexus applications. Electron tomography (ET) stands as a transformative approach for elucidating the intricate structures inherent to polymers, offering unparalleled insights into their nanoscale architectures and functional properties in three dimensions. In particular, the various morphological and chemical characteristics of polymer membranes provide opportunities for perturbations to standard ET for the study of these systems. We discuss the applications of transmission electron microscopy in establishing structure–function relationships in polymeric membranes with an emphasis on traditional ET and cryogenic ET (cryo-ET). The synergy between ET and cryo-ET to unravel structural complexities and dynamic behaviors of polymer membranes holds immense potential in driving progress and innovation across frontiers related to water–energy nexus applications.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 15 is June 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error