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 from Brightsurf:

Compact, low-cost system provides fast 3D hyperspectral imaging
Researchers report a new compact low-cost hyperspectral projector system that provides both depth information and hyperspectral images.

Elliott Fisher proposes "single system solution" for US healthcare system
To improve care, lower costs, and heal the wounds caused by a system that delegates many Americans to the separate and unequal ''safety net,'' policy makers should establish a single system of universal coverage and payment models where all are entitled to the same benefits and care, where comprehensive information supports improvement, and where transparency empowers the market to improve quality and lower costs through informed choices of population health organizations, providers, and treatments.

A novel tissue imaging system accelerates cancer diagnosis
Researchers from Osaka University developed a novel three-dimensional imaging system to diagnose cervical cancer in a faster, non-invasive and more efficient way than the conventional approach.

Decision support system within the EHR system can increase provider awareness of CKD
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects approximately 37 million U.S. adults and less than 25% are aware of their disease.

Developing a digital holography-based multimodal imaging system to visualize living cells
A Kobe University research group has successfully created 3D fluorescence and phase imaging of living cells based on digital holography.

Cutting edge two-photon microscopy system breaks new grounds in retinal imaging
In a recent breakthrough, a team of HKUST scientists developed an adaptive optics two-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy using direct wavefront sensing for high-resolution in vivo fluorescence imaging of mouse retina, which allow in vivo fundus imaging at an unprecedented resolution after full AO correction.

Low-cost imaging system poised to provide automatic mosquito tracking
Mosquito-transmitted diseases such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Seeing the invisible -- A novel gas imaging system
Researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University developed a novel device to image and quantify volatile gases that are released through the skin in real-time.

New imaging system and artificial intelligence algorithm accurately identify brain tumors
Study finds novel method of optical imaging combined with artificial intelligence accurately diagnoses brain tumors in real time.

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.

Read More: Imaging System News and Imaging System Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.