Navigation Links
Cold atoms could replace hot gallium in focused ion beams
Date:11/13/2008

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a radical new method of focusing a stream of ions into a point as small as one nanometer (one billionth of a meter).* Because of the versatility of their approachit can be used with a wide range of ions tailored to the task at handit is expected to have broad application in nanotechnology both for carving smaller features on semiconductors than now are possible and for nondestructive imaging of nanoscale structures with finer resolution than currently possible with electron microscopes.

Researchers and manufacturers routinely use intense, focused beams of ions to carve nanometer-sized features into a wide variety of targets. In principle, ion beams also could produce better images of nanoscale surface features than conventional electron microscopy. But the current technology for both applications is problematic. In the most widely used method, a metal-coated needle generates a narrowly focused beam of gallium ions. The high energies needed to focus gallium for milling tasks end up burying small amounts in the sample, contaminating the material. And because gallium ions are so heavy (comparatively speaking), if used to collect images they inadvertently damage the sample, blasting away some of its surface while it is being observed. Researchers have tried using other types of ions but were unable to produce the brightness or intensity necessary for the ion beam to cut into most materials.

The NIST team took a completely different approach to generating a focused ion beam that opens up the possibility for use of non-contaminating elements. Instead of starting with a sharp metal point, they generate a small "cloud" of atoms and then combine magnetic fields with laser light to trap and cool these atoms to extremely low temperatures. Another laser is used to ionize the atoms, and the charged particles are accelerated through a small hole to create a small but energetic beam of ions. Researchers have named the groundbreaking device "MOTIS," for "Magneto-Optical Trap Ion Source." (For more on MOTs, see "Bon MOT: Innovative Atom Trap Catches Highly Magnetic Atoms," NIST Tech Beat Apr. 1, 2008.)

"Because the lasers cool the atoms to a very low temperature, they're not moving around in random directions very much. As a result, when we accelerate them the ions travel in a highly parallel beam, which is necessary for focusing them down to a very small spot," explains Jabez McClelland of the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology. The team was able to measure the tiny spread of the beam and show that it was indeed small enough to allow the beam to be focused to a spot size less than 1 nanometer. The initial demonstration used chromium atoms, establishing that other elements besides gallium can achieve the brightness and intensity to work as a focused ion beam "nano-scalpel." The same technique, says McClelland, can be used with a wide variety of other atoms, which could be selected for special tasks such as milling nanoscale features without introducing contaminants, or to enhance contrast for ion beam microscopy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Bello
mark.bello@nist.gov
301-975-3776
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Memory in artificial atoms
2. Bon MOT: Innovative atom trap catches highly magnetic atoms
3. Stopping atoms
4. Sheet of carbon atoms acts like a billiard table, physicists find
5. Sheet of carbon atoms acts like a billiard table, physicists find
6. Physicists pin down spin of surface atoms
7. Could Database Software Help Cure Alzheimers and Save the Earth?
8. A new material could act as a nanofridge for microchips
9. New knowledge about thermoelectric materials could give better energy efficiency
10. Carbon molecule with a charge could be tomorrows semiconductor
11. Vaxfectin(R)-formulated Measles DNA Vaccine Could Address Unmet Need for Infants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cold atoms could replace hot gallium in focused ion beams
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- GlobeImmune, Inc. today announced it has entered into a ... of its common stock to NantCell, Inc., a member ... sale of its common stock, NantCell has agreed to ... 200,000 shares, an estimated $2.0 million in value, of ... to enter into this strategic agreement with NantCell," said ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... March 23, 2017 NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage  ... Cancer ... significant strain on health care systems, in terms of costs ... so too does the development of innovative and efficient therapies ... Among the many types of cancer treatments, a growing number ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies (APMT), ... Sigmund “Sig” Floyd as Vice President ? Global Business Development. Dr. Floyd will ... “Dr. Floyd’s career has spanned 30 years in the chemicals and equipment industries. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 22, 2017  UBM and the ... announce their extended partnership and the third annual Massachusetts ... by the 21 st Annual MassMEDIC Conference ... place May 3-4, 2017. MassMEDIC ... Association (ADVAMED) President and CEO, Scott Whitaker ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/6/2017)... 6, 2017 Mintigo , the ... announced Predictive Sales Coach TM , its new ... intelligence into Salesforce. This unique AI application will ... organizations with deep knowledge of their customers and ... engagement. Predictive Sales Coach extends Mintigo,s existing customer ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... , March 2, 2017 Australian stem cell ... (ASX: CYP), has signed an agreement with the Monash ... Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Department of Pharmacology at ... a further preclinical study to support the use of ... asthma.  Asthma is a chronic, long ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... 27. Februar 2017  EyeLock LLC, ein marktführendes Unternehmen ... erstklassige biometrische Lösung zur Iris-Erkennung auf der ... LTE auf dem Mobile World Congress 2017 ... in Halle 3, Stand 3E10, vorstellen. ... Qualcomm Haven™ – eine Kombination aus Hardware, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):