Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Researchers Pursue Blast-Resistant Steel

Abstract:
Researchers now have a state-of-the-art instrument that enables them to get a precise look at steel’s composition on the nanoscale

Researchers Pursue Blast-Resistant Steel Using New Tomograph

Evanston, Ill. | March 23, 2005

Materials scientists and engineers at Northwestern University are developing a new “high-security” steel that would be resistant to bomb blasts such as the one that struck — and nearly sank — the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000. The researchers now have a state-of-the-art instrument that enables them to get a precise look at steel’s composition on the nanoscale: a $2 million atom-probe tomograph that is only the fourth of its kind in the world.

Using the new Local-Electrode Atom-Probe (LEAP®) tomograph, researchers studying steel and other materials can — at amazing speed — pluck atoms off a material’s surface one at a time, layer by layer over tens of thousands of layers, to better understand the entire nanostructure and chemical composition of the material, which is key to designing new materials effectively and efficiently.

The technology is similar to that used in CT (computed tomography) scans, which image body tissues for medical diagnosis. Consisting of a field-ion microscope plus a special time-of-flight mass spectrometer, an atom-probe tomograph takes multiple pictures and uses those slices to construct a detailed three-dimensional image of the material.

“We now can conduct certain experiments that would be impossible without the LEAP tomograph,” said David N. Seidman, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, who spearheaded the effort to bring a LEAP tomograph to Northwestern, the first university in the country to secure one. The three other institutions that have a LEAP tomograph are Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Sydney and Sandia National Laboratories.

With a grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, Seidman is working with Morris E. Fine, professor emeritus of materials science and engineering, on the stronger steel problem. “The U.S. Navy wants a superior material for its new fleet of ships,” said Seidman. “Our steel, an alloy of iron, carbon and various other elements and metals, gets its strength mainly from tiny nanosized particles of copper, which are distributed in both homogenous and heterogeneous patterns. The LEAP tomograph lets us, for the first time, view both distributions at once, which is critical to understanding the role copper plays. With in-depth knowledge of steel’s structure and chemical identity, we can design a stronger material.”

The LEAP tomograph has a very large field of view, analyzes significantly larger volumes of material, and collects data more than 720 times faster than its predecessor at Northwestern, a conventional 3D Atom-Probe tomograph. The LEAP tomograph collects 72 million atoms per hour while the old tomograph collects merely 100,000 atoms in the same amount of time. The specimen is held in the tomograph at cryogenic temperatures, immobilizing the nanostructure so that when atoms are removed the remaining structure is not affected. Each atom’s position and chemical identity are recorded, and the data are then used to create a three-dimensional image of the material’s complex atomic structure.

Researchers using the new tomograph are not focusing on steel only. The LEAP tomograph, which became operational in January and is housed in the Northwestern University Center for Atom-Probe Tomography (NUCAPT) in William A. and Gayle Cook Hall, has attracted faculty, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students working on problems ranging from semiconductor nanowires for use in new nanotechnologies to stronger and energy efficient aluminum alloys for use at high temperatures, with applications in the airline and automotive industries. Other materials that can be studied using the LEAP tomograph are metal alloys containing ceramic particles, semiconductors and conducting polymers.

“The LEAP tomograph is a beautifully engineered and revolutionary piece of instrumentation,” said Seidman, who heads NUCAPT, the second largest atom-probe tomography group in the world. “It’s like going from a rotating anode X-ray tube in your lab to the synchrotron at Argonne National Laboratory. Now the rate limiting step is analyzing the data as opposed to collecting the data.”

To assist Seidman and other researchers in this challenge, a post-doctoral fellow from Argonne will be involved in developing additional software to handle the large data sets. One focus will be image visualization and the display of data in a way that reveals the most useful information.

The U.S. Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation provided the majority of the funding for the LEAP tomograph.

####



Media Contact:
Megan Fellman
847-491-3115
fellman@northwestern.edu

Copyright © Northwestern University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Investments/IPO's/Splits

Harris & Harris Group Reports Financial Statements as of December 31, 2014 and Posts Annual Letter to Shareholders on Website March 17th, 2015

Arrowhead to Present at 2015 Barclays Global Healthcare Conference March 4th, 2015

Arrowhead to Present at 2015 RBC Capital Markets' Global Healthcare Conference February 17th, 2015

Iran 1st among Islamic Nations in Scientific Production, Nanotechnology February 16th, 2015

Materials/Metamaterials

Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance: Scientists at Japan's Kyushu University say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications March 30th, 2015

DFG to Establish One Clinical Research Unit and Five Research Units: New Projects to Investigate Complications in Pregnancy, Particle Physics, Nanoparticles, Implants and Transport Planning / Approximately 13 Million Euros in Funding for an Initial Three-Year Period March 28th, 2015

Chemists make new silicon-based nanomaterials March 27th, 2015

UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests March 27th, 2015

Announcements

Rutgers, NIST physicists report technology with potential for sub-micron optical switches March 31st, 2015

Prototype 'nanoneedles' generate new blood vessels in mice: Scientists have developed tiny 'nanoneedles' that have successfully prompted parts of the body to generate new blood vessels, in a trial in mice March 31st, 2015

Super sensitive measurement of magnetic fields March 31st, 2015

Nanomedicine pioneer Mauro Ferrari at ETH Zurich March 31st, 2015

Tools

PIHera: Largest Family of Piezo Stage Scanners with 10X Greater Positioning Area March 31st, 2015

New Applications Brochure on Complex Motion Control Systems for Scientific Research March 31st, 2015

'Atomic chicken-wire' is key to faster DNA sequencing March 30th, 2015

FEI Technology Award of the German Neuroscience Society Goes to Benjamin Judkewitz of the University of Berlin: Bi-annual award honors excellence in brain research during the German Neuroscience Society’s Annual Meeting, held 18-21 March 2015 March 26th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE