Nav: Home

NIST imaging system maps nanomechanical properties

December 12, 2007

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed an imaging system that quickly maps the mechanical properties of materials--how stiff or stretchy they are, for example--at scales on the order of billionths of a meter. The new tool can be a cost-effective way to design and characterize mixed nanoscale materials such as composites or thin-film structures.

The NIST nanomechanical mapper uses custom software and electronics to process data acquired by a conventional atomic force microscope (AFM), transforming the microscope's normal topographical maps of surfaces into precise two-dimensional representations of mechanical properties near the surface. The images enable scientists to see variations in elasticity, adhesion or friction, which may vary in different materials even after they are mixed together. The NIST system, described fully for the first time in a new paper,* can make an image in minutes whereas competing systems might take an entire day.

The images are based on measurements and interpretations of changes in frequency as a vibrating AFM tip scans a surface. Such measurements have commonly been made at stationary positions, but until now 2D imaging at many points across a sample has been too slow to be practical. The NIST DSP-RTS system (for digital signal processor-based resonance tracking system) has the special feature of locking onto and tracking changes in frequency as the tip moves over a surface. Mechanical properties of a sample are deduced from calculations based on measurements of the vibrational frequencies of the AFM tip in the air and changes in frequency when the tip contacts the material surface.

NIST materials researchers have used the system to map elastic properties of thin films with finer spatial resolution than is possible with other tools. The DSP-RTS can produce a 256 × 256 pixel image with micrometer-scale dimensions in 20 to 25 minutes. The new system also is modular and offers greater flexibility than competing approaches. Adding capability to map additional materials properties can be as simple as updating the software.
-end-
* A.B. Kos and D.C. Hurley. Nanomechanical mapping with resonance tracking scanned probe microscope. Measurement Science and Technology 19 (2008) 015504.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related Imaging System Articles:

Use of medical imaging
This observational study looked at patterns of use for computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound and nuclear medicine imaging in the United States and in Ontario, Canada, from 2000 to 2016.
Outsmarting deep fakes: AI-driven imaging system protects authenticity
To thwart sophisticated deep fake methods of altering photos and video, researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering devised a technique to authenticate images throughout the entire pipeline, from acquisition to delivery, using artificial intelligence (AI).
PolyU develops palm-sized 3D ultrasound imaging system for scoliosis mass screening
The first-of-its-kind palm-sized 3D ultrasound imaging system for radiation-free scoliosis assessment, named 'Scolioscan Air', can bring accurate, safe and cost-efficient mass screening to schools and anywhere in the community.
Imaging system helps surgeons remove tiny ovarian tumors
Researchers at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a way to improve the accuracy of surgery to remove ovarian tumors.
Diattenuation imaging -- a promising imaging technique for brain research
A new imaging method provides structural information about brain tissue that was previously difficult to access.
New optical imaging system could be deployed to find tiny tumors
MIT researchers have developed a near-infrared fluorescent optical imaging system that could enable them to find tiny tumors, as small as a couple of hundred cells, deep within the body.
New nuclear medicine imaging method shows strong potential for cancer imaging
A new nuclear medicine imaging method could help diagnose widespread tumors, such as breast, colon, pancreas, lung and head and neck cancer better than current methods, with less inconvenience to patients and with equal or improved accuracy.
Purdue researchers developing novel biomedical imaging system
Purdue University researchers are developing a novel biomedical imaging system that combines optical and ultrasound technology to improve diagnosis of life-threatening diseases.
Research brief: UMN researchers develop DIY field imaging system
Farmers and plant breeders can now build their own automated field camera track system to collect data on dynamic plant traits, such as crop lodging and movement, as it's happening in the field to help reduce losses in crop yield.
Versatile ultrasound system could transform how doctors use medical imaging
A new ultrasound system that uses optical, instead of electronic components, could improve performance while giving doctors significantly more flexibility in how they use ultrasound to diagnose and treat medical problems.
More Imaging System News and Imaging System Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.