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October 2015

Unprecedented Precise Determination of the 3D Positions of Individual Atoms


Scientific Achievement

Using the Molecular Foundry’s TEAM I microscope, an international collaboration of users and staff measured the 3D coordinates of nine layers of atoms.

Significance and Impact

The 3D positions of single atoms were measured allowing identification of a point defect, the absence of a single atom. These defects can weaken materials, which is important for components of machines like jet engines.

Research Details


R. Xu, C. C. Chen, L. Wu, M. C. Scott, W. Theis, C. Ophus, M. Bartels, Y. Yang, H. Ramezani-Dakhel, M. R. Sawaya, H. Heinz, L. D. Marks, P. Ercius & J. Miao, Nat. Mater., 14:11, pp. 1099-1103 2015.