Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers want to accelerate the scanning probe microscope

01.04.2010
Since more than twenty years, scanning force microscopes are employed in research and industry. Their enormous resolution triggered many applications in nanotechnology. Their rather low image rate is however a disadvantage - changing objects and processes cannot be imaged.

Physicists of Saarland University have developed a technology that could accelerate scanning probe microscopes by a factor of 1000. The operation principle is explained from April 17th to 23rd on the Saarland Forschungsstand on the Hannover Messe (Halle 2, Stand C 44).

A scanning probe microscope works like a record player. There, a needle follows the record track, mapping the fine structure of the track. The microscope uses a much smaller silicon needle instead, and direct contact with the surface is avoided. Surface structures are mapped by atomic forces, usually van-der-Waals interactions. "Even though the needle is tiny, there are still physical limits. Therefore we were looking for a component that is again a factor of 100 smaller than those used currently" explains Uwe Hartmann, Professor for Nanostructure Reasearch and Nanotechnology at Saarland University. With the nanocantilever, as it is called, surfaces will be mapped a lot faster and with higher precision.

State-of-the-art scanning probe microscopes operate at frequencies around 100 Kilohertz. "The processes nanotechnology is dealing with, however, have typical frequencies of gigahertz. These are one billion cycles per second. On the other hand, the velocity by which a hair is growing may well disturb the imaging process." Such are the dimensions of nanoresearch, as Uwe Hartmann describes. With his team's design, one hundred images per second and more and an increase in resolution will be possible. This is more than video rate.

The detector for the movements of the nanocantilever is separated from the nanocantilever by less than the wavelength of light, just one-fivehundredth of a hair's diameter. The result is a mapping of the surface with superior speed and precision.

In cooperation with partners a prototype of the new scanning force microscope is currently set up currently, for which is also patent application is intended. Until the end of the year the device, which uses only standard materials of microelectronics, will operate. The researchers are now looking for an industry partner. "On the Hannover Messe we will not show an exhibit. However we will demonstrate the principle of the scanning force microscope in a three-dimensional visualization" the researcher from Saarbrücken explains.

Adress questions to

Prof. Dr. Uwe Hartmann
Lehrstuhl für Nanostrukturforschung und Nanotechnologie
Universität des Saarlandes
Tel. 0681 / 302 3799
Tel. 0511 / 89 497101 (Telefon am Messestand)
E-Mail: u.hartmann@mx.uni-saarland.de
Telephone interviews in studio quality with scientists of Saarland University in studio quality are possible over Rundfunk-ISDN-Codec. Interview requests please contact the public relations office (0681/302-3610)

Gerhild Sieber | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-saarland.de/fak7/hartmann/
http://www.uni-saarland.de/pressefotos

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion
24.07.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot
21.07.2017 | Stanford University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>