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Non-invasive Nano-scale Imaging
Using the Molecular Foundry’s imaging capabilities, users have developed a technique, called ‘CLAIRE’, that allows the resolution of electron microscopy to be used for non-invasive nanoscale imaging of soft matter.
Significance and Impact
CLAIRE could lead to the understanding of key biological processes and help accelerate the development of new technologies such as high-efficiency photovoltaic cells.
- Traditional electron microscopy damages soft materials and is usually used to provide topological or compositional information about inorganic solids.
- Cathodoluminescence activated imaging by resonant energy transfer (CLAIRE) combines elements of optical and scanning microscopy.
- Soft matter is protected from the electron beam by an ultrathin scintillating film. When the film is excited by the electron beam, it transfers energy and causes the sample to radiate.
- From the recorded luminescence, an image can be formed with resolution nearly an order of magnitude better than the optical diffraction limit
C. G. Bischak, C. L. Hetherington, Z. Wang, J. T. Precht, D. M. Kaz, D. G. Schlom & N. S. Ginsberg. Nano Lett., 2015, 15, 3383.