Physics took a picture of the atom with nanometer precision

Physics took a picture of the atom with nanometer precision

Physics from Cornell University in the United States received pictures of individual atoms with nanometer precision — less than half Angstrom (Å 0,39). The previous record resolution more than half of 0.98 Å.

Electron microscopes, which allows you to take pictures of individual atoms have been in existence for half a century. The wavelength of visible light is larger than the diameter of the average atom, so to see atoms with even the most powerful light microscope can not.

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Analogue lens, focusing the image in an electronic microscope acts as a magnetic field, but its vibrations are a source of distortions; these distortions are correctable with additional devices control the fluctuations of the magnetic field, but the complexity of the design of the microscope increases.

Last year physics from Cornell University proposed a device electron microscope pixel array detector (EMPAD), replacing a complex system generators, focusing the incoming electrons. The device consists of a matrix of 128×128 pixels, sensitive to individual electrons. Each pixel registers the angle of reflection of the electron; knowing him, scientists using the technique of ptychography rekonstruiruet characteristics of electrons, including the coordinates of the point where it was released.