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A new look below the surface of nanomaterials
Date:8/16/2011

lso able to collect accurate information using specially designed spectrometers effectively cameras for electrons.

The spectrometer is rather like a pinhole camera, Fadley noted. It's easy to get a sharp image with a pinhole camera by keeping the entrance opening small. Open up this aperture and a lot more light is admitted, but a clear image becomes more difficult to extract. But new developments in electron optics, particularly in Sweden, have made it possible to detect sufficient electrons to carry out such experiments.

Several high-powered X-ray sources are now running or being built in Europe and Asia, although none are yet planned in the U.S., Fadley said. The new technique could be used both for basic and commercial research on new materials for electronics and technology.

Fadley noted that he had first proposed the idea of using a high-intensity X-ray source to look more deeply beneath the surface of materials around 1980, but neither the X-ray sources nor the spectrometers existed to make the experiment feasible.


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Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

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