- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
Home > Press > May the force be with the atomic probe: New models suggest devising means of probing a surface at a sub-micrometric level as this will help us understand how electrons’ diffusion affects long-range attractive forces
Theoretical physicist Elad Eizner from Ben Gurion University, Israel, and colleagues created models to study the attractive forces affecting atoms located at a wide range of distances from a surface, in the hundreds of nanometers range. Their results, about to be published in EPJ D, show that these forces depend on electron diffusion, regardless of whether the surface is conducting or not. Ultimately, these findings could contribute to designing minimally invasive surface probes.
Bombarding a surface with atoms helps us understand the distribution of its electrons and the structural arrangement of the surface atoms. The authors focused on understanding how a long-range force— referred to as the van der Waals-Casimir-Polder (vdW-CP) force — present between an atom and a surface allow us to distinguish surface characteristics on the basis of their conductivity.
A key factor in understanding the behaviour of the force, they realised, is the size of the electron cloud surrounding an impurity charge in the system. The latter depends both on the electrons' conductivity and their capability to diffuse in and along the surface.
They devised one model for the diffusion of the electronic charge in the bulk of the material and another one in the near-surface region. They tested their models on both conducting and non-conducting surfaces. They were thus able to explain why the atom-surface force shows a continuous transition in terms of conductivity between both types of surfaces.
For distances comparable to the size of the electron cloud spread, the strength of the vdW-CP attraction force, they found, can help distinguish between bulk and surface electrons diffusion. It could therefore be used as a probe. Potential applications exist, for example, in quantum computer hardware architectures focusing on the interface between different carriers of quantum bits of information.
E.Eizner, B. Horovitz, and C. Henkel (2012), Van der Waals-Casimir-Polder interaction of an atom with a composite surface, European Physical Journal D, DOI: 10.1140/epjd/e2012-30294-x
For more information, please click here
Copyright © SpringerIf 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.
|Related News Press|
News and information
Stanford breakthrough heralds super-efficient light-based computers: Light can transmit more data while consuming far less power than electricity, and an engineering feat brings optical data transport closer to replacing wires May 29th, 2015
Two UCSB Professors Receive Early Career Research Awards: The Department of Energy’s award for young scientists acknowledges UC Santa Barbara’s standing as a top tier research institution May 29th, 2015
Nano-capsules designed for diagnosing malignant tumours: Japanese researchers have developed adaptable nano-capsules that can help in the diagnosis of glioblastoma cells - a highly invasive form of brain tumours May 28th, 2015
Squeezed quantum cats May 28th, 2015
New technique speeds nanoMRI imaging: Multiplexing technique for nanoscale magnetic resonance imaging developed by researchers in Switzerland cuts normal scan time from two weeks to two days May 28th, 2015
Physicists solve quantum tunneling mystery: ANU media release: An international team of scientists studying ultrafast physics have solved a mystery of quantum mechanics, and found that quantum tunneling is an instantaneous process May 27th, 2015
This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects: The photonics advancement could improve early cancer detection, nanoelectronics manufacturing and scientists' ability to observe single molecules May 23rd, 2015