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Individual Carbon Atoms in Motion

Published on April 9th, 2009 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

This video documents what truly should be “wow”-level historical
type of moment in material-related sciences. As the folks at the
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory note, this is equivalent to the first biologist who peered through a microscope and saw a cell divide.

 

To summarize, this video is no more, or less, than watching for the
first time, in real-time, individual carbon atoms being knocked off the
edges of a hole in a sheet of graphene while other atoms break and
recreate bonds as they shift around in response, looking for the most
stable position. The video also contains a simulation of what is
occurring (created using a Monte Carlo simulation method to
“orchestrate” which carbon atoms leave and which shift).

 

And, like all really great movies, it’s hard to tell who deserves
more credit: The actors or the director and cinematographers? The
analogy isn’t perfect, but as awesome as this movie is, what is equally
amazing is the incredible electron microscope behind the movie – TEAM
0.5.

 

TEAM 0.5,
which just recently became operational, is the world’s most powerful
electron microscope. The technology behind TEAM 0.5 comes from a team
that includes the Berkeley, Argonne and Oak Ridge National Labs, the
Frederick Seitz Materials Lab of the University of Illinois, and two
electron microscopy companies, FEI (Portland) and CEOS of (Heidelberg).

 

In some ways, researchers are just starting to “play” with TEAM and
are already planning on using it on other structures and materials.
Nevertheless, this first video is providing new leads and confirmations
to those studying spin properties in atoms.

 


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