Thought for the month

“The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.”
Thomas Huxley, Scientist (1825-95).

Monday, 19 April 2010

Z contrast sees small

Using Z -contrast (atomic number) scanning transmission electron microscopy (www.ornl.gov/info/press_releases/get_press_release.cfm?ReleaseNumber=mr20100325-00) researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have obtained the first images that distinguish individual light atoms such as boron, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. An international team analysed boron nitride samples prepared by Oxford University researchers, using STEM energies (60KeV) low enough to avoid displacement damage in low atomic number elements. The microscope manufacturer (Nion Company, www.nion.com) has clearly picked up with cold field emission STEM where the former VG Microscopes left off.

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