Brookhaven Lab Avatar

66 Notes

Want to slip into an atomic groove this weekend? No problem, just bring this gleaming chamber along.  This is the precision machinery of an atomic force/scanning tunneling microscope, an instrument capable of imaging material surfaces with atomic resolution. 
In action, an exceptionally sharp tip comes within a few atomic diameters of the material and raster scans across the surface. To maintain a consistent distance, the tip follows every change in height and texture that it encounters—think of a turntable needle following a record’s grooves, but on the atomic scale. In fact, that tip is essentially a tungsten needle with a radius smaller than just 5 billionths of a meter. And as crazy as that sounds, it’s actually just the last few atoms at the needle’s apex that really drive the resolution. To top all that off, the machine maintains an ultra-high vacuum to keep out any stray molecules that may make the needle jump.
The resulting images show the surface height relative to specific positions, revealing a map of larger features (relatively speaking) such as atomic steps and terraces. But this remarkable microscope can also provide images of individual atoms inside the custom-made materials at our Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

Want to slip into an atomic groove this weekend? No problem, just bring this gleaming chamber along.  This is the precision machinery of an atomic force/scanning tunneling microscope, an instrument capable of imaging material surfaces with atomic resolution. 

In action, an exceptionally sharp tip comes within a few atomic diameters of the material and raster scans across the surface. To maintain a consistent distance, the tip follows every change in height and texture that it encounters—think of a turntable needle following a record’s grooves, but on the atomic scale. In fact, that tip is essentially a tungsten needle with a radius smaller than just 5 billionths of a meter. And as crazy as that sounds, it’s actually just the last few atoms at the needle’s apex that really drive the resolution. To top all that off, the machine maintains an ultra-high vacuum to keep out any stray molecules that may make the needle jump.

The resulting images show the surface height relative to specific positions, revealing a map of larger features (relatively speaking) such as atomic steps and terraces. But this remarkable microscope can also provide images of individual atoms inside the custom-made materials at our Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

Replies

Likes

  1. garrettchandler reblogged this from brookhavenlab and added:
    Wow
  2. pisforpegleg reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  3. tak-i-nie reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  4. pecoraachisu reblogged this from do-nothing
  5. do-nothing reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  6. yuki-124 reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  7. quantumchaology reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  8. voiceofthequietuniverse reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  9. dcy3 reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  10. rlfrules reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  11. kaiyves reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  12. deadmanshining reblogged this from radicalfeministuprising
  13. radicalfeministuprising reblogged this from brookhavenlab and added:
    S
  14. acandidfool reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  15. rumze reblogged this from litospeaks
  16. litospeaks reblogged this from brookhavenlab
  17. meanassmoses reblogged this from brookhavenlab

 

Reblogs