International University Research Team Develop Method to Look Inside Nanomaterials in 3D

Novel method can generate a 3D picture of a structure within a material.
The method is outlined in a paper that was written by scientists from Risø DTU (Denmark), Tsinghua University and Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, IMR (China), and the Johns Hopkins University (US). Typically, one is only able to view the crystal structure of a material by looking at a cut surface (2 dimensions). Xray methods are also utilized, but currently have a resolution limit of about 100nm.

The new technique developed by the scientists provides three-dimensional mapping of the crystal structure inside a material to nanometer resolution, and can be done using a transmission electron microscope (TEM). An important advantage of 3D is that changes that take place inside a material can be directly observed, such as mapping heat treatment of a structure before and after heat is applied to view structural changes.

Three-Dimensional Orientation Mapping in the Transmission Electron, H. H. Liu, et al., Science 332, 833 (2011))

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