Electron microscope’s new algorithm breaks resolution, magnifying atomic vibrations 100 million times

Electron microscope's new algorithm breaks resolution, magnifying atomic vibrations 100 million times

What about taking a photo until the body reaches the limit? The Cornell University team of engineers has recently developed a new technology that is powerful enough to double the resolution of today’s sophisticated electron microscopes. It can observe individual atoms directly in three dimensions and obtain clear images. The only reason for being dim is that the atom is moving on its own. This technology can be very useful for imaging atoms in the boundary between objects such as semiconductors and catalysts.

Nowadays, more and more smart phones or advanced telescopes are equipped with high-resolution cameras that allow you to zoom in and see the surface of the moon. However, these do not fit into the electron microscope pixel array developed by Cornell University Engineering. Professor David Mல்லller’s team. Parallel to the detector (electron microscope pixel array detection, EMPAD).

In 2018, this high-performance microscope developed EMPAD in conjunction with the ptychography algorithm, which directly increased the resolution of the electron microscope by 3 times, beating the Guinness World Record for measuring up to 0.039 nanometers. Soul Groener, one of the researchers at the time, joked that he always thought he had to eat 40 burgers in 5 minutes, or stand on one leg for several days to enter the Guinness World Records. Atom receives a ticket.

Now, the team combines a more sophisticated 3D reconstruction method that scans the crystals of PrScO3 (praseodymium orthoscandate), which has doubled the world record for electron microscopy resolution, and the accuracy of observing chemical bonds in individual atoms and molecules is the same, atomic The only reason is the thermal vibration of the lattices.

In the past, any experiment that attempted to photograph an atom would often produce a blurry image, like looking at the world with a pair of glasses of different degrees, but now the team’s technology is so accurate that it can detect an atom in three dimensions, once done. Detect impure atoms in irregular structures and film their vibrations,

In addition, the team can only shoot very thin material samples that are only a few atoms thick, but new technology can shoot thicker material samples (although it will fail if it is thick because electrons are scattered in an insoluble way), except at semiconductors, at the boundary between objects such as catalysts. Nuclear imaging can be helpful, and it can also enhance current clinical imaging, creating clearer and denser biological tissues and brain synaptic connections.

Although the process of obtaining such high-precision images is still time consuming, more powerful supercomputers can be used in conjunction with new methods to improve performance.

New articlePublished in “Science” magazine.

(Source of the first film:Cornell University)



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Cary Douglas

About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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