Joined: 16 Mar 2004
|Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:29 am Post subject: New Hybrid Microscope Probes Nano-Electronics
|30 October 2006, Physorg.com
New Hybrid Microscope Probes Nano-Electronics
A new form of scanning microscopy that simultaneously reveals physical and electronic profiles of metal nanostructures has been demonstrated at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and University of Colorado at Boulder. The new instrument is expected to be particularly useful for analyzing the make-up and properties of nanoscale electronics and nanoparticles.
Scanning photoionization microscopy (SPIM), described in a new paper, combines the high spatial resolution of optical microscopy with the high sensitivity to subtle electrical activity made possible by detecting the low-energy electrons emitted by a material as it is illuminated with laser pulses. The technique potentially could be used to make pictures of both electronic and physical patterns in devices such as nanostructured transistors or electrode sensors, or to identify chemicals or even elements in such structures.
"You make images by virtue of how readily electrons are photoejected from a material," says NIST Fellow David Nesbitt, leader of the research group. "The method is in its infancy, but nevertheless it really does have the power to provide a new set of eyes for looking at nanostructured metals and semiconductors."
The JILA-built apparatus includes a moving optical microscopy stage in a vacuum, an ultrafast near-ultraviolet laser beam that provides sufficient peak power to inject two photons (particles of light) into a metal at virtually the same time, and equipment for measuring the numbers and energy of electrons ejected from the material.