Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures Facility Overview
This Facility’s staff applies and develops techniques to characterize and manipulate a broad variety of nanostructures, from hard to very soft matter, including liquid structures. Imaging methods span electron, optical and scanning probe microscopy, including combined electron-scanning probe and near-field optical-scanning probe instruments. In situ experiments are performed by combining microscopy with manipulation tools and controlled environments. Nanostructure characterization tools include advanced optical spectro-microscopy (linear, non-linear, tip-enhanced and pump-probe) and Auger and x-ray photoemission for surface analysis.
The Imaging and Manipulation Facility, through user projects and internal research, has worked to:
- optically characterize individual nanostructures, molecules and quantum objects;
- follow surface chemical reactions using combined electrical and force probing;
- use electron beams to perform local optical spectroscopy on semiconducting and plasmonic nanostrucures using SEM and TEM cathodoluminescence;
- make sensitive force measurements in fluid environments to investigate hydrophobic interactions and biochemical recognition;
- study nanomaterial structure with electron microscopy, including analytical measurements, variable temperature environments and electrical probing;
- develop novel scanning probes, including plasmonic antenna tips for near-field optical spectroscopy and low-dissipation cantilevers for sensitive force measurements in fluids;
- use analytical electron microscopy to understand the wear processes at probe microscope tips, and the implications for interpreting probe microscope experiments;
- characterize and understand plasmonic devices with high temporal and spatial resolution through experiment and theory;
- map material composition and structure using vibrational imaging spectroscopy, including coherent anti-Stokes Raman (CARS) and tip-enhanced Raman (TERS);
- measure nanoscale thermal transport properties by transient optical methods and local probe techniques; and
- image liquid films and nanodroplets with electrostatic forces.
This Facility’s staff has broad experience in:
- applications of scanning probe microscopy in ambient, liquid, ultra-high vacuum and cryogenic environments;
- analytical electron microscopy of nanomaterials and in situ techniques;
- optical spectro-microscopy of nanomaterials; and
- development of novel instrumentation and characterization techniques.