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March 21st, 2009
Physicists in Japan have developed a new technique for determining the identity of groups of individual atoms. The technique is an improvement on existing characterization methods in microscopy, which can only detect the positions of atoms and not their specific chemical type. It has been used by the researchers to detect the composition of a substance to a resolution of 10 nm.
Dubbed Synchrotron Radiation Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (SRSTM), the new technique has been developed by Taichi Okuda and colleagues at the Institute and the University of Hyogo, in Japan. It involves placing a sample of interest in the intense x ray beam of a synchrotron source.
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