Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Technique Allows Researchers to Examine How Materials Bond at the Atomic Level

08.10.2010
An approach pioneered by researchers at North Carolina State University gives scientists new insight into the way silicon bonds with other materials at the atomic level. This technique could lead to improved understanding of and control over bond formation at the atomic level, and opportunities for the creation of new devices and more efficient microchips.

Manufacturers build silicon-based devices from layers of different materials. Bonds – the chemical interaction between adjacent atoms – are what give materials their distinctive characteristics.

“Essentially, a bond is the glue that holds two atoms together, and it is this glue that determines material properties, like hardness and transparency,” says Dr. Kenan Gundogdu, assistant professor of physics at NC State and co-author of the research. “Bonds are formed as materials come together.

We have influenced the assembly process of silicon crystals by applying strain during bond formation. Manufacturers know that strain makes a difference in how bonds form, but up to now there hasn’t been much understanding of how this works on the atomic level.”

Gundogdu, along with Dr. David Aspnes, Distinguished University Professor of Physics, and doctoral candidate Bilal Gokce, used optical spectroscopy along with a method of analysis pioneered by Aspnes and former graduate student Dr. Eric Adles that allowed them to examine what was happening on the atomic scale when strain was applied to a silicon crystal.

“Strain has been used to affect overall chemistry for a long time,” Aspnes says. “However, no one has previously observed differences in chemical behavior of individual bonds as a result of applying strain in one direction. Now that we can see what is actually happening, we’ll gain a much better understanding of its impact on the atomic scale, and ideally be able to put it to use.”

According to Gundogdu, “Application of even small amount of strain in one direction increases the chemical reactivity of bonds in certain direction, which in turn causes structural changes. Up to now, strain has been applied when devices are made. But by looking at the effect on the individual atomic bonds we now know that we can influence chemical reactions in a particular direction, which in principle allows us to be more selective in the manufacturing process.”

The research appears online in the Sept. 27 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“While we are able to exert some directional control over reaction rates, there remains much that we still don’t understand,” Aspnes adds. “Continuing research will allow us to identify the relevant hidden variables, and silicon-based devices may become more efficient as a result.”

The Department of Physics is part of NC State’s College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

-peake-

Note to editors: An abstract of paper follows.

“Measurement and control of in-plane surface chemistry during the oxidation of H-terminated (111) Si”

Authors: Bilal Gokce, Eric J Adles, David E. Aspnes, and Kenan Gundogdu, NC State University

Published: Sept. 27, 2010 online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Abstract: In-plane directional control of surface chemistry during interface formation can lead to new opportunities regarding device structures and applications. Control of this type requires techniques that can probe and hence provide feedback on the chemical reactivity of bonds not only in specific directions but also in real time. Here, we demonstrate both control and measurement of the oxidation of H-terminated (111) Si. Control is achieved by externally applying uniaxial strain, and measurement by second-harmonic generation (SHG) together with the anisotropic-bond model of nonlinear optics. In this system anisotropy results because bonds in the strain direction oxidize faster than those perpendicular to it, leading in addition to transient structural changes that can also be detected at the bond level by SHG.

Tracey Peake | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncsu.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New concept for structural colors
18.05.2018 | Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg

nachricht Saarbrücken mathematicians study the cooling of heavy plate from Dillingen
17.05.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>