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Cornell Researchers Achieve Record Imaging Resolution of Individual Atoms

Posted by Guy Pirro 05/25/2021 05:51PM

Cornell Researchers Achieve Record Imaging Resolution of Individual Atoms

In 2018, Cornell researchers built a high-powered detector that set a world record by tripling the resolution of a state-of-the-art electron microscope. As successful as it was, that approach had a weakness -- It only worked with ultrathin samples that were a few atoms thick. Anything thicker would cause the electrons to scatter in ways that could not be disentangled. Now a Cornell team has bested its own record by a factor of two with an electron microscope pixel array detector that incorporates even more sophisticated 3D reconstruction algorithms, resulting in an ultra-precise image with picometer (one-trillionth of a meter) precision. The resolution is so fine-tuned that the only blurring that remains is the thermal jiggling of the atoms themselves.


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