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They obtain 3D images of nanoparticles with X-rays
According to an article published on November 27, 2006, on Physorg.com, a new X-ray microscope makes it possible to observe nanomaterials in 3D.
Subhash Risbud, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Sciences, John Miao, UCLA, and his colleagues in Japan and Taiwan have just published a paper in Physical Review Letters in which they describe a new X-ray microscope capable of observing the nanomaterials in three dimensions. The device could be used to build improved materials, for example, in the fields of electronics, optics and biotechnology.
The transmission electron microscope (TEM) has traditionally been used to study nanomaterials, but since electrons do not penetrate materials very much, the sample preparation process is often complicated and destructive. Also, TEM only provides two-dimensional images.
The new method irradiates a powerful X-ray source onto the nanoparticle and collects the scattered X-rays from the sample. A computer then builds a three-dimensional image from this data. The microscope can show details down to 17 nanometers.
With this new microscope, Risbud and his colleagues were able to obtain detailed three-dimensional images of a gallium nitride “quantum dot”, and study the structure within it at the nanometer scale. Quantum dots are tiny particles that modify their optical and electronic properties depending on the size of the particle. Gallium nitride quantum dots could be used in blue-green lasers or flat panel monitors.
According to the authors: “This work therefore opens a door to comprehensive, quantitative and non-destructive 3D imaging of a wide range of samples including porous materials, semiconductors, cables and quantum dots, inorganic nanostructures. , granular materials, biomaterials and cellular structures ”.