Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > New quantum dot technique combines best of optical and electron microscopy

Much like in an old tube television where a beam of electrons moves over a phosphor screen to create images, the new microscopy technique works by scanning a beam of electrons over a sample that has been coated with specially engineered quantum dots. The dots absorb the energy and emit it as visible light that interacts with the sample at close range. The scattered photons are collected using a similarly closely placed photodetector (not depicted), allowing an image to be constructed.

Credit: Dill/NIST
Much like in an old tube television where a beam of electrons moves over a phosphor screen to create images, the new microscopy technique works by scanning a beam of electrons over a sample that has been coated with specially engineered quantum dots. The dots absorb the energy and emit it as visible light that interacts with the sample at close range. The scattered photons are collected using a similarly closely placed photodetector (not depicted), allowing an image to be constructed.

Credit: Dill/NIST

Abstract:
It's not reruns of "The Jetsons", but researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new microscopy technique that uses a process similar to how an old tube television produces a picture—cathodoluminescence—to image nanoscale features. Combining the best features of optical and scanning electron microscopy, the fast, versatile, and high-resolution technique allows scientists to view surface and subsurface features potentially as small as 10 nanometers in size.

New quantum dot technique combines best of optical and electron microscopy

Gaithersburg, MD | Posted on June 12th, 2013

The new microscopy technique, described in the journal AIP Advances,* uses a beam of electrons to excite a specially engineered array of quantum dots, causing them to emit low-energy visible light very close to the surface of the sample, exploiting so-called "near-field" effects of light. By correlating the local effects of this emitted light with the position of the electron beam, spatial images of these effects can be reconstructed with nanometer-scale resolution.

The technique neatly evades two problems in nanoscale microscopy, the diffraction limit that restricts conventional optical microscopes to resolutions no better than about half the wavelength of the light (so about 250 nm for green light), and the relatively high energies and sample preparation requirements of electron microscopy that are destructive to fragile specimens like tissue.

NIST researcher Nikolai Zhitenev, a co-developer of the technique, had the idea a few years ago to use a phosphor coating to produce light for near-field optical imaging, but at the time, no phosphor was available that was thin enough. Thick phosphors cause the light to diverge, severely limiting the image resolution. This changed when the NIST researchers teamed with researchers from a company that builds highly engineered and optimized quantum dots for lighting applications. The quantum dots potentially could do the same job as a phosphor, and be applied in a coating both homogenous and thick enough to absorb the entire electron beam while also sufficiently thin so that the light produced does not have to travel far to the sample.

The collaborative effort found that the quantum dots, which have a unique core-shell design, efficiently produced low-energy photons in the visible spectrum when energized with a beam of electrons. A potential thin-film light source in hand, the group developed a deposition process to bind them to specimens as a film with a controlled thickness of approximately 50 nm.

Much like in an old tube television where a beam of electrons moves over a phosphor screen to create images, the new technique works by scanning a beam of electrons over a sample that has been coated with the quantum dots. The dots absorb the electrons' energy and emit it as visible light that interacts with and penetrates the surface over which it has been coated. After interacting with the sample, the scattered photons are collected using a closely placed photodetector, allowing an image to be constructed. The first demonstration of the technique was used to image the natural nanostructure of the photodetector itself. Because both the light source and detector are so close to the sample, the diffraction limit doesn't apply, and much smaller objects can be imaged.

"Initially, our research was driven by our desire to study how inhomogeneities in the structure of polycrystalline photovoltaics could affect the conversion of sunlight to electricity and how these devices can be improved," says Heayoung Yoon, the lead author of the paper. "But we quickly realized that this technique could also be adapted to other research regimes, most notably imaging for biological and cellular samples, wet samples, samples with rough surfaces, as well as organic photovoltaics. We are anxious to make this technique available to the wider research community and see the results."

This work was a collaboration among researchers from NIST; the Maryland NanoCenter at the University of Maryland, College Park; Worcester Polytechnic Institute; QD Vision; and Sandia National Laboratories.

####

About National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Mark Esser

301-975-8735

Copyright © National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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

* H. Yoon, Y, Lee, C. Bohn, S. Ko, A. Gianfrancesco, J. Steckel, S. Coe-Sullivan, A. Talin and N. Zhitenev. High-resolution photocurrent microscopy using near-field cathodoluminescence of quantum dots. AIP Advances. Published online 10 June 2013:

Related News Press

Imaging

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

New Grand ARM Transmission Electron Microscope Offers Highest Commercially-Available Atomic Resolution of 63 Picometers October 17th, 2014

News and information

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Nitrogen Doped Graphene Characterized by Iranian, Russian, German Scientists October 21st, 2014

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam October 20th, 2014

Removal of Limitations of Composites at Superheat Temperatures October 20th, 2014

Laboratories

HP Supercomputer at NREL Garners Top Honor October 19th, 2014

ORNL research reveals unique capabilities of 3-D printing October 15th, 2014

Scientists Map Key Moment in Assembly of DNA-Splitting Molecular Machine: Crucial steps and surprising structures revealed in the genesis of the enzyme that divides the DNA double helix during cell replication October 15th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

Imaging electric charge propagating along microbial nanowires October 20th, 2014

HP Supercomputer at NREL Garners Top Honor October 19th, 2014

First Canada Excellence Research Chair gets $10 million from the federal government for oilsands research at the University of Calgary: Federal government announces prestigious research chair to study improving oil production efficiency October 19th, 2014

Discoveries

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Nitrogen Doped Graphene Characterized by Iranian, Russian, German Scientists October 21st, 2014

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam October 20th, 2014

Removal of Limitations of Composites at Superheat Temperatures October 20th, 2014

Announcements

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Nitrogen Doped Graphene Characterized by Iranian, Russian, German Scientists October 21st, 2014

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam October 20th, 2014

Removal of Limitations of Composites at Superheat Temperatures October 20th, 2014

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Nitrogen Doped Graphene Characterized by Iranian, Russian, German Scientists October 21st, 2014

Physicists build reversible laser tractor beam October 20th, 2014

Removal of Limitations of Composites at Superheat Temperatures October 20th, 2014

Tools

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

New Grand ARM Transmission Electron Microscope Offers Highest Commercially-Available Atomic Resolution of 63 Picometers October 17th, 2014

Nanodevices for clinical diagnostic with potential for the international market: The development is based on optical principles and provides precision and allows saving vital time for the patient October 15th, 2014

Unique catalysts for hydrogen fuel cells synthesized in ordinary kitchen microwave oven October 14th, 2014

Quantum Dots/Rods

QD Vision Wins Prestigious Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency October 16th, 2014

Ultrafast remote switching of light emission October 2nd, 2014

Platinum meets its match in quantum dots from coal: Rice University's cheap hybrid outperforms rare metal as fuel-cell catalyst October 1st, 2014

University of Electro-Communications research: High density quantum dots for powerful solar cells September 25th, 2014

Research partnerships

Detecting Cancer Earlier is Goal of Rutgers-Developed Medical Imaging Technology: Rare earth nanocrystals and infrared light can reveal small cancerous tumors and cardiovascular lesions October 21st, 2014

Nitrogen Doped Graphene Characterized by Iranian, Russian, German Scientists October 21st, 2014

Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals with precisely prescribed depths and complex 3D features, which could create revolutionary nanodevices October 20th, 2014

IRLYNX and CEA-Leti to Streamline New CMOS-based Infrared Sensing Modules Dedicated to Human-activities Characterization October 15th, 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