Microscope to Further Bolster Nanotech Research
New Instrument Will Enable Researchers to Discern Individual Atoms
A new atomic-resolution microscope will strengthen UT Dallas researchers’ role in developing next-generation semiconductors and enhance the University’s position as a resource for industry and technical consortiums.
Introduced to the market less than a year ago and slated to arrive at UT Dallas this spring, the new JEOL ARM200F transmission electron microscope (TEM) enables atom-by-atom imaging resolution and unmatched spatial resolution for atom-to-atom chemical mapping of materials.
Dr. Moon Kim
“It will provide us with great capability analyzing the atomic structure and chemistry of nanostructure materials and devices with unprecedented resolution, and it will certainly put us on even better ground to advance scientific knowledge,” said Dr. Moon Kim, a professor of materials science and engineering.
“There are many faculty at UT Dallas who will benefit from this, including researchers in materials science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, chemistry and physics,” he said.
The advanced capabilities of the new microscope will offer greater insight into atomic structures of materials for electronic devices, allowing researchers to develop smaller and more efficient semiconductor chips and explore novel nanomaterials for new semiconductor devices, said Kim, a member of the University’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
UT Dallas hosts two semiconductor research consortiums: Texas FUSION (short for Future Semiconductor Commercialization), financed by South Korea and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund; and the Silicon Wafer Engineering and Defect Science Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (SiWEDS), an independent center supported by the University and corporate members.
UT Dallas is also a part of the Southwest Academy of Nanoelectronics (SWAN), a nationally funded research center.
Kim’s lab is already home to two transmission electron microscopes and has a staff of 14 members. He anticipates that the latest electron microscope technology will be a major draw for additional materials scientists and that it will help UT Dallas establish more relationships with fledgling high-tech firms requiring access to such imaging.
The ARM200F is based on a totally new design and boasts extraordinary stability in addition to its atomic resolution.
“We look forward to collaborating with Moon Kim and UT Dallas in advancing nanotech research with this new TEM,” said Dr. Thomas Isabell, JEOL USA TEM product director. “We’re excited that we can participate in future projects using never-before-seen imaging resolution and chemical spatial resolution – all at acquisition speeds never before possible.”
Atomic-resolution transmission electron micrographs of silicon nitride crystals show the circular positions of silicon and nitrogen atoms.
The microscope will help researchers develop smaller and more efficient semiconductor chips.
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