Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > ORNL microscopy uncovers "dancing" silicon atoms in graphene

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers used electron microscopy to document the 'dancing' motions of silicon atoms, pictured in white, in a graphene sheet.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers used electron microscopy to document the 'dancing' motions of silicon atoms, pictured in white, in a graphene sheet.

Abstract:
Jumping silicon atoms are the stars of an atomic scale ballet featured in a new Nature Communications study from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

ORNL microscopy uncovers "dancing" silicon atoms in graphene

Oak Ridge, TN | Posted on April 4th, 2013

The ORNL research team documented the atoms' unique behavior by first trapping groups of silicon atoms, known as clusters, in a single-atom-thick sheet of carbon called graphene. The silicon clusters, composed of six atoms, were pinned in place by pores in the graphene sheet, allowing the team to directly image the material with a scanning transmission electron microscope.

The "dancing" movement of the silicon atoms, seen in a video here: http://www.ornl.gov/ornlhome/video/video_files/dancing-silicons-1.mov, was caused by the energy transferred to the material from the electron beam of the team's microscope.

"It's not the first time people have seen clusters of silicon," said coauthor Juan Carlos Idrobo. "The problem is when you put an electron beam on them, you insert energy into the cluster and make the atoms move around. The difference with these results is that the change that we observed was reversible. We were able to see how the silicon cluster changes its structure back and forth by having one of its atoms 'dancing' between two different positions."

Other techniques to study clusters are indirect, says Jaekwang Lee, first author on the ORNL study. "With the conventional instrumentation used to study clusters, it is not yet possible to directly identify the three-dimensional atomic structure of the cluster," Lee said.

The ability to analyze the structure of small clusters is important for scientists because this insight can be used to precisely understand how different atomic configurations control a material's properties. Molecules could then be tailored for specific uses.

"Capturing atomic clusters inside patterned graphene nanopores could potentially lead to practical applications in areas such as electronic and optoelectronic devices, as well as catalysis," Lee said. "It would be a new approach to tuning electronic and optical properties in materials."

The ORNL team confirmed its experimental findings with theoretical calculations, which helped explain how much energy was required for the silicon atom to switch back and forth between different positions.

This research was supported by National Science Foundation, DOE's Office of Science, the McMinn Endowment at Vanderbilt University, and by DOE's Office of Science User Facilities: ORNL's Shared Research Equipment User Facility Program and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

####

About Oak Ridge National Laboratory
ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science. DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Morgan McCorkle
Communications and Media Relations
865.574.7308

Copyright © Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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 Links

The study, published as "Direct visualization of reversible dynamics in a Si6 cluster embedded in a graphene pore," is available online here: Coauthors are ORNL's Jaekwang Lee, Wu Zhou, Stephen Pennycook, Juan Carlos Idrobo, and Sokrates Pantelides.

Related News Press

News and information

UT Arlington researchers develop transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection for medical safety and homeland security September 29th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Determine Grain Size, Minimize Time of Nanocomposite Synthesis September 29th, 2014

Nanoparticles Used to Improve Quality of Bone Cement September 29th, 2014

'Pixel' engineered electronics have growth potential: Rice, Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt, Penn scientists lead creation of atom-scale semiconducting composites September 29th, 2014

Production of Anticorrosive Chromate Nanocoatings in Iran September 27th, 2014

Laboratories

'Pixel' engineered electronics have growth potential: Rice, Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt, Penn scientists lead creation of atom-scale semiconducting composites September 29th, 2014

On the Road to Artificial Photosynthesis: Berkeley Lab Study Reveals Key Catalytic Factors in Carbon Dioxide Reduction September 25th, 2014

World's smallest reference material is big plus for nanotechnology September 25th, 2014

NRL researchers develop novel method to synthesize nanoparticles September 24th, 2014

Graphene

Elsevier Publishes New Content on Graphene and Materials Science: Books Discuss Properties and Emerging Applications of Carbon Nanotubes, Graphene and Nanomaterials September 25th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

UT Arlington researchers develop transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection for medical safety and homeland security September 29th, 2014

'Pixel' engineered electronics have growth potential: Rice, Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt, Penn scientists lead creation of atom-scale semiconducting composites September 29th, 2014

World's smallest reference material is big plus for nanotechnology September 25th, 2014

Solar cell compound probed under pressure September 25th, 2014

Discoveries

UT Arlington researchers develop transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection for medical safety and homeland security September 29th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Determine Grain Size, Minimize Time of Nanocomposite Synthesis September 29th, 2014

Nanoparticles Used to Improve Quality of Bone Cement September 29th, 2014

'Pixel' engineered electronics have growth potential: Rice, Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt, Penn scientists lead creation of atom-scale semiconducting composites September 29th, 2014

Announcements

UT Arlington researchers develop transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection for medical safety and homeland security September 29th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Determine Grain Size, Minimize Time of Nanocomposite Synthesis September 29th, 2014

Nanoparticles Used to Improve Quality of Bone Cement September 29th, 2014

'Pixel' engineered electronics have growth potential: Rice, Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt, Penn scientists lead creation of atom-scale semiconducting composites September 29th, 2014

Research partnerships

'Pixel' engineered electronics have growth potential: Rice, Oak Ridge, Vanderbilt, Penn scientists lead creation of atom-scale semiconducting composites September 29th, 2014

Teijin Aramidís carbon nanotube fibers awarded with Paul Schlack prize: New generation super fibers bring wave of innovations to fiber market September 25th, 2014

Smallest-possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothread September 25th, 2014

Future flexible electronics based on carbon nanotubes: Study in Applied Physics Letters show how to improve nanotube transistor and circuit performance with fluoropolymers September 23rd, 2014

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 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE