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New imaging technique reveals the atomic structure of nanocrystals
Date:2/18/2009

tion from the high-resolution diffraction pattern. Both the image and the diffraction pattern are taken with the same transmission-electron microscope.

"The low-resolution image provides the starting point by supplying missing information in the central beam and supplying essential marks for aligning the diffraction pattern," said Zuo, who also is a researcher at the university's Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. "Our phase-retrieval algorithm then reconstructs the image."

To demonstrate the technique, the researchers took a new look at cadmium-sulfide quantum dots.

"We chose cadmium-sulfide quantum dots because of their size-dependent optical and electronic properties, and the importance of atomic structure on these properties," Zuo said. "Cadmium-sulfide quantum dots have potential applications in solar energy conversion and in medical imaging."

Using the reiterative algorithm, the smallest separation between the cadmium and sulfide atomic columns was measured at 0.84 angstroms, the researchers report.

"Since low-resolution images can be obtained from different sources, our technique is general and can be applied to non-periodic structures, such as interfaces and local defects," Zuo said. "Our technique also provides a basis for imaging the three-dimensional structure of single nanoparticles."


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Contact: James E. Kloeppel
kloeppel@illinois.edu
217-244-1073
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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