Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New neutron holography technique opens a window for obtaining clear 3-D atomic images

29.08.2017

People usually associate holograms with futuristic 3D display technologies, but in reality, holographic technologies are now being used to help study materials at the atomic level. X-rays, a high energy form of light, are often used to study atomic structure.

However, X-rays are only sensitive to the number of electrons associated with an atom. This limits the use of X-rays for studying materials made up of lighter elements. Neutron measurements can often fill in the gaps in structures when X-ray measurements fail, but neutron beams are harder to make and have lower intensities than X-ray beams, which limits their versatility.


Nearest Ca2+ images are split into two parts due to the extra positive charge by Eu3+. The interstitial F- image is observed between Ca2+ images. The additional F- is needed for the compensation of the excessive charge. Dashed circles indicate original positions of Ca atoms without doping Eu.

Credit: NITech

Now, a collaboration among Japanese researchers working at national particle accelerator facilities across Japan has developed a new multiple-wavelength neutron holography technique that can give insights into previously unknown structures.

They demonstrated a new neutron holographic method using a Eu-doped CaF2 single crystal and obtained clear three-dimensional atomic images around trivalent Eu substituted divalent Ca, revealing never-before-seen intensity features of the local structure that allows it to maintain charge neutrality.

"We knew that neutron holography might be able to tell us more about the structure of a europium-doped calcium fluoride crystal," says lead author Kouichi Hayashi.

"Europium ions add extra positive charge to the crystal structure, and our neutron holograms showed how fluorine atoms arranged in the lattice to balance this excess charge. These kinds of structural problems are often encountered by materials scientists developing new electronic materials, and our method offers an exciting new tool for these researchers."

The new holographic method works by firing neutrons with controlled speed at a sample, which in this case is the europium-doped calcium fluoride crystals. Neutrons are normally thought of as particles, but also have wave-like properties similar to light, depending on their speed.

When the neutrons hit europium atoms, gamma rays are produced in a pattern controlled by the local structure. The gamma ray patterns, or holograms, measured from neutrons travelling at different speeds are combined to produce a three-dimensional representation of the europium atoms in the crystal.

Hayashi says, "Neutron sources are less intense than X-ray sources, but it is essential that we work around this issue to develop more effective methods for exploring structures with light elements. Our work here represents a step towards a full toolbox of commentary X-ray and neutron techniques for materials research."

Kuniaki Shiraki | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Laser tests under deep-sea conditions at the LZH
19.06.2018 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

nachricht Scientists predict a new superhard material with unique properties
18.06.2018 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Kidney tumor: Genetic trigger discovered

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>