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Focused ion beam is a powerful method for cross-sectional transmission electron microscope sample preparation due to being site specific and not limited to certain materials. It has, however, been difficult to apply to many nanostructured materials as they are prone to damage due to extending from the surface. Here we show methods for focused ion beam sample preparation for transmission electron microscopy analysis of such materials, demonstrated on GaAs–GaInP core shell nanowires. We use polymer resin as support and protection and are able to produce cross-sections both perpendicular to and parallel with the substrate surface with minimal damage. Consequently, nanowires grown perpendicular to the substrates could be imaged both in plan and side view, including the nanowire–substrate interface in the latter case. Using the methods presented here we could analyze the faceting and homogeneity of hundreds of adjacent nanowires in a single lamella.
The twin interface structure in twinning superlattice InP nanowires with zincblende structure has been investigated using electron exit wavefunction restoration from focal series images recorded on an aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope. By comparing the exit wavefunction phase with simulations from model structures, it was possible to determine the twin structure to be the ortho type with preserved In-P bonding order across the interface. The bending of the thin nanowires away from the intended ⟨110⟩ axis could be estimated locally from the calculated diffraction pattern, and this parameter was successfully taken into account in the simulations.
We describe the production of hierarchical branched nanowire structures by the sequential seeding of multiple wire generations with metal nanoparticles. Such complex structures represent the next step in the study of functional nanowires, as they increase the potential functionality of nanostructures produced in a self-assembled way. It is possible, for example, to fabricate a variety of active heterostructure segments with different compositions and diameters within a single connected structure. The focus of this work is on epitaxial III-V semiconductor branched nanowire structures, with the two materials GaP and In As used as typical examples of branched structures with cubic (zinc blende) and hexagonal (wurtzite) crystal structures. The general morphology of these structures will be described, as well as the relationship between morphology and crystal structure.
Along with rapidly developing nanotechnology, new types of analytical
instruments and techniques are needed. Here we report an alternative
procedure for electrical measurements on semiconductor nanowhiskers,
allowing precise selection and visual control at close to atomic
resolution. We use a combination of two powerful microscope techniques,
scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and simultaneous viewing in a
transmission electron microscope (TEM). The STM is mounted in the
sample holder for the TEM. We describe here a method for creating an
ohmic contact between the STM tip and the nanowhisker. We examine three
different types of STM tips and present a technique for cleaning the
STM tip in situ. Measurements on 1-μm-tall and 40-nm-thick
epitaxially grown InAs nanowhiskers show an ohmic contact and a
resistance of down to 7 kΩ.
The precipitation behavior, especially the early nucleation stages, of the industrial strip-cast Al3003 alloys was investigated by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). An icosahedral quasicrystalline phase was found as secondary particles in these strip-cast alloys after heat treatment for a few seconds. Three different nucleation paths are proposed based on the TEM observations. They have the same origin, viz. (Mn, Fe)-containing Mackay icosahedra, and are governed by the composition of alloys, especially the Mn and Si content.
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