[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present "molecular threading", a surface independent tip-based method for stretching and depositing single and double-stranded DNA molecules. DNA is stretched into air at a liquid-air interface, and can be subsequently deposited onto a dry substrate isolated from solution. The design of an apparatus used for molecular threading is presented, and fluorescence and electron microscopies are used to characterize the angular distribution, straightness, and reproducibility of stretched DNA deposited in arrays onto elastomeric surfaces and thin membranes. Molecular threading demonstrates high straightness and uniformity over length scales from nanometers to micrometers, and represents an alternative to existing DNA deposition and linearization methods. These results point towards scalable and high-throughput precision manipulation of single-molecule polymers.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e69058. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Direct imaging and chemical identification of all the atoms in a material with unknown three-dimensional structure would constitute a very powerful general analysis tool. Transmission electron microscopy should in principle be able to fulfil this role, as many scientists including Feynman realized early on. It images matter with electrons that scatter strongly from individual atoms and whose wavelengths are about 50 times smaller than an atom. Recently the technique has advanced greatly owing to the introduction of aberration-corrected optics. However, neither electron microscopy nor any other experimental technique has yet been able to resolve and identify all the atoms in a non-periodic material consisting of several atomic species. Here we show that annular dark-field imaging in an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope optimized for low voltage operation can resolve and identify the chemical type of every atom in monolayer hexagonal boron nitride that contains substitutional defects. Three types of atomic substitutions were found and identified: carbon substituting for boron, carbon substituting for nitrogen, and oxygen substituting for nitrogen. The substitutions caused in-plane distortions in the boron nitride monolayer of about 0.1 A magnitude, which were directly resolved, and verified by density functional theory calculations. The results demonstrate that atom-by-atom structural and chemical analysis of all radiation-damage-resistant atoms present in, and on top of, ultra-thin sheets has now become possible.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An all-magnetic monochromator/spectrometer system for sub-30 meV energy-resolution electron energy-loss spectroscopy in the scanning transmission electron microscope is described. It will link the energy being selected by the monochromator to the energy being analysed by the spectrometer, without resorting to decelerating the electron beam. This will allow it to attain spectral energy stability comparable to systems using monochromators and spectrometers that are raised to near the high voltage of the instrument. It will also be able to correct the chromatic aberration of the probe-forming column. It should be able to provide variable energy resolution down to approximately 10 meV and spatial resolution less than 1 A.
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences 10/2009; 367(1903):3683-97. · 2.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Precession electron diffraction (PED) is a technique which is gaining increasing interest due to its ease of use and reduction of the dynamical scattering problem in electron diffraction. To further investigate the usefulness of this technique, we have performed a systematic study of the effect of precession angle on the mineral andalusite where the semiangle was varied from 6.5 to 32 mrad in five discrete steps. The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal conditions for the amelioration of kinematically forbidden reflections, and the measurement of valence charge density. We show that the intensities of kinematically forbidden reflections decay exponentially as the precession semiangle (varphi) is increased. We have also determined that charge density effects are best observed at moderately low angles (6.5-13 mrad) even though PED patterns become more kinematical in nature as the precession angle is increased further.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Improved resolution made possible by aberration correction has greatly increased the demands on the performance of all parts of high-end electron microscopes. In order to meet these demands, we have designed and built an entirely new scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM). The microscope includes a flexible illumination system that allows the properties of its probe to be changed on-the-fly, a third-generation aberration corrector which corrects all geometric aberrations up to fifth order, an ultra-responsive yet stable five-axis sample stage, and a flexible configuration of optimized detectors. The microscope features many innovations, such as a modular column assembled from building blocks that can be stacked in almost any order, in situ storage and cleaning facilities for up to five samples, computer-controlled loading of samples into the column, and self-diagnosing electronics. The microscope construction is described, and examples of its capabilities are shown.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progress in aberration correction of electron microscopes has been rapid in the last decade. CEOS and Nion, the two companies
chiefly responsible for the advent of practical aberration correctors, were started 12 and 11 years ago, respectively, at
a time when aberration correction still seemed an impractical dream to many electron microscopists. The first sub-Å resolution,
directly interpretable aberration-corrected images were published in 2002 . Today, there are more than 100 aberration-corrected
electron microscopes in the world, and several more are installed each month. The resolution attained has reached 50 pm (0.5
Å) in both STEM and TEM, and the electron current in an atom-sized electron probe can now be such that atomic-resolution STEM/EELS
elemental maps can be acquired in less than one minute .
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent developments in aberration control in the TEM have yielded a tremendous enhancement of direct imaging capabilities for studying atomic structures. However, aberration correction also has substantial benefits for achieving ultra-resolution in the TEM through reciprocal space techniques. Several tools are available that allow very accurate detection of the electron distribution in surfaces allowing precise atomic-scale characterization through statistical inversion techniques from diffraction data. The precession technique now appears to extend this capability to the bulk. This article covers some of the progress in this area and details requirements for a next-generation analytical diffraction instrument. An analysis of the contributions offered by aberration correction for precision electron precession is included.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Precession electron diffraction (PED) is a method that considerably reduces dynamical effects in electron diffraction data, potentially enabling more straightforward solution of structures using the transmission electron microscope. This study focuses upon the characterization of PED data in an effort to improve the understanding of how experimental parameters affect it in order to predict favorable conditions. A method for generating simulated PED data by the multislice method is presented and tested. Data simulated for a wide range of experimental parameters are analyzed and compared to experimental data for the (Ga,In)(2)SnO(4) (GITO) and ZSM-5 zeolite (MFI) systems. Intensity deviations between normalized simulated and kinematical data sets, which are bipolar for dynamical diffraction data, become unipolar for PED data. Three-dimensional difference plots between PED and kinematical data sets show that PED data are most kinematical for small thicknesses, and as thickness increases deviations are minimized by increasing the precession cone semi-angle phi. Lorentz geometry and multibeam dynamical effects explain why the largest deviations cluster about the transmitted beam, and one-dimensional diffraction is pointed out as a strong mechanism for deviation along systematic rows. R factors for the experimental data sets are calculated, demonstrating that PED data are less sensitive to thickness variation. This error metric was also used to determine the experimental specimen thickness. R(1) (unrefined) was found to be about 12 and 15% for GITO and MFI, respectively.
Acta Crystallographica Section A Foundations of Crystallography 12/2006; 62(Pt 6):434-43. · 2.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The electron precession diffraction technique is employed to provide quasi-kinematical data for determination of atom positions in the (Ga,In)2SnO5m-phase. Precession data are compared with conventional diffraction data captured under identical conditions and show a distinct superiority because they exhibit kinematical characteristics in the structure-defining reflections. Precessed data are not usable within a kinematical interpretation in all cases, and a simple basis is presented for omission of errant reflections to improve adherence to kinematical behavior. A second approach is demonstrated where intensities are used with direct methods instead of amplitudes, enhancing the contrast between strong and weak beams. The unrefined atom positions recovered a priori via direct methods are consistent between the two approaches and fall on average within 4 picometers of positions in the previously refined structure.