Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Develop Method to Study the Atomic Structure of Complex Surfaces

12.10.2012
With a novel idea, a lot of work and some of the world’s most sophisticated equipment, researchers at McMaster University have developed a new way to study the structures of complex surfaces, opening the door to future discoveries in materials, energy and technology.

Scientists from the Canadian Centre for Microscopy on the McMaster campus, working with a colleague from Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France, developed the new method by using transmission electron microscopy. It’s a technique so powerful that it can be used to visualize and identify individual atoms at magnifications of several million times.

The centre’s mandate is to provide unique electron microscopy capabilities and expertise to researchers working on a broad range of national and international materials-research projects. It is home to one of the world's most advanced and powerful electron microscopes, the Titan 80-300 Cubed.

The new research appears in the prestigious journal Nature. The scientists describe how they developed the method for looking at metal oxides, in this case strontium titanate, a notoriously challenging surface to study, but one that holds promise for many applications, including efficient lighting, energy generation and future information technology systems.

Gianluigi Botton, scientific director of the centre, said that until now, it had been nearly impossible to completely elucidate the atomic structure of the surface oxide from that of the material itself, due to the physical limitations of existing techniques.

Now, having shown that transmission electron microscopy can do the job, scientists can apply the same method to other challenging surfaces, with the promise of making it easier to split water to extract hydrogen for fuel, or to invent completely new types of electronic devices, for example.

“Surfaces are all around us,” Botton explained. “Understanding their properties at this level can open up many possibilities.”

For more information, please contact:

Wade Hemsworth
Public Relations Manager
McMaster University
905-525-9140 ext. 27988
hemswor@mcmaster.ca
Michelle Donovan
Public Relations Manager
McMaster University
905-525-9140 ext. 22869
donovam@mcmaster.ca

Wade Hemsworth | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.mcmaster.ca

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet
18.08.2017 | Aalto University

nachricht Superconductivity research reveals potential new state of matter
17.08.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>