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.
- The TEAM microscope that was used in this experiment is operated at the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), which is now a facility at the Molecular Foundry. It one of the most powerful aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopes in the world.
- The researchers analyzed tungsten, an element used in incandescent light bulbs, from 62 viewing angles.
- The data was used to create a 3D model of 3,769 atoms, each positioned with a precision of ~19 picometers, or 19 trillionths of a meter.