Characterizing Complex Nanostructured Materials with Atomic-Scale Resolution
The ability to precisely engineer well-defined nanostructures in ever more complex systems, including tailored, multielemental geometries with unique atomic configurations, enhances functionalities of nanoscale devices. For example, core/shell nanoparticles (Co@ZnO) consisting of a cobalt (Co) core and a zinc oxide (ZnO) shell offer unique opportunities for multifunctional behavior by combining two different phases in a single nanostructure. To understand and design these materials, it is important to characterize the structure and chemistry at high spatial resolution. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) allows scientists to visualize the structure on the atomic scale and, through chemical mapping, determine elemental distributions within the nanoparticle. Nebraska MRSEC researchers exploit central facilities available at the University of Nebraska, such as high-resolution STEM, to perform interdisciplinary research at the frontiers of nanoscience.
This research is supported by the National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research, Materials Research Science and Engineering Program, Grant DMR-1420645.
Top: High-resolution transmission electron micrograph of the Co@ZnO nanoparticles. Bottom: Chemical maps obtained by x-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy in STEM mode, revealing a Co core (green) and ZnO shell (blue and red).
Highlight InfoDate: April 2018