Nano-Characterization Infrastructure at UM-StLouis
Notes on the only presentation by a Missouri lab at NSF's National
Nanotechnology Infrastructure Newtork (NNIN)
in early 2003, in which representatives from all of NSF's directorates
Elements in place...
Active record in acquisition, and mathematical analysis*, of ~0.2 nm images.
Triple bi-story building designed ground-up for atomic resolution microscopies.
An open resource** for Universities and Industries even before the new building.
Analysis/prep methods-development thrives on high-throughput process activity.
Impact many NSF divisions*** incl geoscience; complementary to facilities elsewhere.
Effective resource-use tradition, with building, instruments, and expertise in place.
Centrally located, two metro stops from a major airline hub.
* Areas of technique development include...
Digital darkfield (wavelet-like) decomposition studies of HREM
images, with emphasis on the detection and mapping of weak periodicities,
recognition of icosahedral twinning in arbitrarily-oriented nanoclusters,
quantitative mapping of projected lattice strain, and transform-customized
detection of more complex structures (e.g. single pentagon defects
in edge-on graphene sheets).
Off/on-line stereo (3D) analysis of electron diffraction and HREM lattice
images (e.g. ``lattice parameters from two tilts'' work underway in
collaboration with researchers at Motorola and Portland State) and detection
of higher order 3D correlations in paracrystalline materials (e.g. amorphous
SPM log-log roughness spectroscopy, a kind of direct space decomposition
of rms roughness, along with refinement of techniques for calculating it
(e.g. a current collaboration with MEMC on detection
of 10 micron lateral scale structures with nanometer scale heights).
Use (and development) of Bayesian strategies for inference from spectra
and images (e.g. for noise removal from images of partially periodic
Lateral displacement microscopy with tunneling and force microscopes,
a no-added-hardware strategy for mapping lateral forces from image pairs taken with
different scan directions.
Appropriate use of ``fast-with-drawbacks'' (e.g. strong-object or
kinematic) simulations of electron phase contrast (HREM) and SPM images,
e.g. for the first web-based focus and astigmatism simulator.
The instrument response function in scanning tunneling microscopy,
and tip shape determination using nuclear particle tracks.
** Shared facility skills, mentioned e.g. by James Plummer (Stanford/NNUN)...
Advice: active long-standing program of interdisciplinary collaboration
and referral on projects walking in the door from a wide range of application
Integration: wide nanoparticle prep and analysis experience available for
new problems, ranging from dissection of individual sub-nanogram particles, to heterostructure
cross-sections involving semiconductor, oxide, metal and even polymer phases intermixed.
Support: physics operations-group experience keeping instruments running
at minimal cost, plus alliance with professionals having instrument repair expertise across
the region e.g. at Monsanto, Boeing, and Washington U.
Training: tradition of weekend courses taught by industry experts,
and active development of web/lab course modules for critical use of
*** Areas of application focus include...
Laboratory study of extraterrestrial and electronic materials, esp.
gigascale IC silicon e.g. oxygen gettering, nanotwin formation,
Cu decoration and low-T surface oxidation with researchers at MEMC;
strained-lattice and quantum-dot heterostructures e.g.
researchers in physics at Washington University (WU), Si/Si-Ge with MEMC;
and dust particles from around our and other stars e.g.
solar flare tracks in interplanetary dust, and novel carbon phases formed in
red giant atmospheres and extracted from isotopically-analyzed meteorite
dissolution specimens by space science researchers at U. Chicago and
Microscopic analysis of: environmental and commercial nano-structured
catalysts, in collaboration
with researchers at WU Environmental
nanocluster and oxide-metal epitaxy in collaboration with researchers
at UM-Rolla; meteoritic iron oxidation with
researchers in Earth and Planetary Sciences at WU; the manufacture
of NaCl coated nanoparticles in turbulent flames with Mechanical
Engineering at WU; B nanowires and BN nanotubes with researchers in
Chemistry at WU; high cycle fatigue of Al alloys with Chem Eng
at WU, etc.
Health applications of nanoparticles in blood, including apatite for
MRI imaging with Mallinckrodt Medical, and polymer-assisted ferrofluids for
non-invasive but targeted treatment and repairs with UM-StL Chemistry and
Curriculum modernization including development of an emergent microscopy
practicals web-lab series for users of nanomicroscopy data, and ``views from
asmall'' for K-12. Students getting Ph.D.'s with our group also have a
tradition of (a) walking out into jobs, and (b) helping mentor future
students after the fact.
Development of an ethics of analytical support (based on in-house
experience working in both universities and the private sector), operating
in parallel to any necessary contractual agreements in a way which can
facilitate university-industry collaborations.
Complementary relationship to targeted characterization resources
in the region e.g. for nano-isotopic studies of presolar materials via
imaging (Cameca nanoprobe) secondary ion mass spectrometry, for Si defect
studies via confocal IR tools in the electronics
industry, for life sciences work via SEM, FE-SEM, optically-enhanced NMR,
fluid-cell tapping-mode SPM, confocal light/fluorescence-fluctuation
microscopy studies, and electron energy-filtered imaging
in regional biochemistry and the growing plant sciences communities.
A 3x3 reduced version
of the lab's poster
for NSF's NNIN meeting:
This page is
This page is hosted by the UM-StL Department of
and Astronomy, but P. Fraundorf is responsible for errors.
page requests ~2000/day hence are approaching a million per year.
a "stat-counter linked subset of pages" since 4/7/2005: