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1.  Channeling in helium ion microscopy: Mapping of crystal orientation 
Summary
Background: The unique surface sensitivity and the high resolution that can be achieved with helium ion microscopy make it a competitive technique for modern materials characterization. As in other techniques that make use of a charged particle beam, channeling through the crystal structure of the bulk of the material can occur.
Results: Here, we demonstrate how this bulk phenomenon affects secondary electron images that predominantly contain surface information. In addition, we will show how it can be used to obtain crystallographic information. We will discuss the origin of channeling contrast in secondary electron images, illustrate this with experiments, and develop a simple geometric model to predict channeling maxima.
Conclusion: Channeling plays an important role in helium ion microscopy and has to be taken into account when trying to achieve maximum image quality in backscattered helium images as well as secondary electron images. Secondary electron images can be used to extract crystallographic information from bulk samples as well as from thin surface layers, in a straightforward manner.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.3.57
PMCID: PMC3458594  PMID: 23019544
channeling; crystallography; helium ion microscopy; ion scattering
2.  Cell surface and cell outline imaging in plant tissues using the backscattered electron detector in a variable pressure scanning electron microscope 
Plant Methods  2013;9:40.
Background
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has been used for high-resolution imaging of plant cell surfaces for many decades. Most SEM imaging employs the secondary electron detector under high vacuum to provide pseudo-3D images of plant organs and especially of surface structures such as trichomes and stomatal guard cells; these samples generally have to be metal-coated to avoid charging artefacts. Variable pressure-SEM allows examination of uncoated tissues, and provides a flexible range of options for imaging, either with a secondary electron detector or backscattered electron detector. In one application, we used the backscattered electron detector under low vacuum conditions to collect images of uncoated barley leaf tissue followed by simple quantification of cell areas.
Results
Here, we outline methods for backscattered electron imaging of a variety of plant tissues with particular focus on collecting images for quantification of cell size and shape. We demonstrate the advantages of this technique over other methods to obtain high contrast cell outlines, and define a set of parameters for imaging Arabidopsis thaliana leaf epidermal cells together with a simple image analysis protocol. We also show how to vary parameters such as accelerating voltage and chamber pressure to optimise imaging in a range of other plant tissues.
Conclusions
Backscattered electron imaging of uncoated plant tissue allows acquisition of images showing details of plant morphology together with images of high contrast cell outlines suitable for semi-automated image analysis. The method is easily adaptable to many types of tissue and suitable for any laboratory with standard SEM preparation equipment and a variable-pressure-SEM or tabletop SEM.
doi:10.1186/1746-4811-9-40
PMCID: PMC3853341  PMID: 24135233
Backscattered-electron imaging; Plant cell outlines; Image analysis; Arabidopsis thaliana
3.  High Resolution Helium Ion Scanning Microscopy of the Rat Kidney 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e57051.
Helium ion scanning microscopy is a novel imaging technology with the potential to provide sub-nanometer resolution images of uncoated biological tissues. So far, however, it has been used mainly in materials science applications. Here, we took advantage of helium ion microscopy to explore the epithelium of the rat kidney with unsurpassed image quality and detail. In addition, we evaluated different tissue preparation methods for their ability to preserve tissue architecture. We found that high contrast, high resolution imaging of the renal tubule surface is possible with a relatively simple processing procedure that consists of transcardial perfusion with aldehyde fixatives, vibratome tissue sectioning, tissue dehydration with graded methanol solutions and careful critical point drying. Coupled with the helium ion system, fine details such as membrane texture and membranous nanoprojections on the glomerular podocytes were visualized, and pores within the filtration slit diaphragm could be seen in much greater detail than in previous scanning EM studies. In the collecting duct, the extensive and striking apical microplicae of the intercalated cells were imaged without the shrunken or distorted appearance that is typical with conventional sample processing and scanning electron microscopy. Membrane depressions visible on principal cells suggest possible endo- or exocytotic events, and central cilia on these cells were imaged with remarkable preservation and clarity. We also demonstrate the use of colloidal gold probes for highlighting specific cell-surface proteins and find that 15 nm gold labels are practical and easily distinguishable, indicating that external labels of various sizes can be used to detect multiple targets in the same tissue. We conclude that this technology represents a technical breakthrough in imaging the topographical ultrastructure of animal tissues. Its use in future studies should allow the study of fine cellular details and provide significant advances in our understanding of cell surface structures and membrane organization.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057051
PMCID: PMC3591388  PMID: 23505418
4.  Scanning electron microscope studies of human metaphase chromosomes 
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is used to evaluate potential chromosome preparations and staining methods for application in high-resolution three-dimensional X-ray imaging. Our starting point is optical fluorescence microscopy, the standard method for chromosomes, which only gives structural detail at the 200 nm scale. In principle, with suitable sample preparation protocols, including contrast enhancing staining, the surface structure of the chromosomes can be viewed at the 1 nm level by SEM. Here, we evaluate a heavy metal nucleic-acid-specific stain, which gives strong contrast in the backscattered electron signal. This study uses SEM to examine chromosomes prepared in different ways to establish a sample preparation protocol for X-rays. Secondary electron and backscattered electron signals are compared to evaluate the effectiveness of platinum-based stains used to enhance the contrast.
doi:10.1098/rsta.2013.0144
PMCID: PMC3900039  PMID: 24470422
scanning electron microscopy; chromosomes; layer structure
5.  A novel approach for scanning electron microscopy of colloidal gold- labeled cell surfaces 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1984;99(1 Pt 1):53-57.
A method is described for the use of scanning electron microscopy on the surface of gold-labeled cells. It includes the use of 45- or 20-nm colloidal gold marker conjugated with Staphylococcal protein A. The marker is best recognized on the basis of its atomic number contrast by using the backscattered electron imaging mode of the scanning electron microscope. When the backscattered electron signal is mixed with the secondary electron signal, an optimum correlation between the distribution of the labeled sites and the cell surface structures is demonstrated. The method is illustrated by its application to the identification of human circulating granulocytes. Its good resolution, high contrast, and good labeling efficiency offers a promising approach to the specific localization of cell surface antigenic sites labeled with particles of colloidal gold.
PMCID: PMC2275647  PMID: 6330131
6.  Characterization of thermally aged AlPO4-coated LiCoO2 thin films 
The electrochemical properties and stability during storage of pristine and AlPO4-coated LiCoO2 thin films were characterized. The wide and smooth surface of the thin film electrode might provide an opportunity for one to observe surface reactions with an electrolyte. The rate capability and cyclic performance of the LiCoO2 thin film were enhanced by AlPO4 surface coating. Based on secondary ion mass spectrometry analysis and scanning electron microscopy images of the surface, it was confirmed that the coating layer was successfully protected from the reactive electrolyte during storage at 90°C. In contrast, the surface of the pristine sample was severely damaged after storage.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-12
PMCID: PMC3275528  PMID: 22221315
7.  Digging gold: keV He+ ion interaction with Au 
Summary
Helium ion microscopy (HIM) was used to investigate the interaction of a focused He+ ion beam with energies of several tens of kiloelectronvolts with metals. HIM is usually applied for the visualization of materials with extreme surface sensitivity and resolution. However, the use of high ion fluences can lead to significant sample modifications. We have characterized the changes caused by a focused He+ ion beam at normal incidence to the Au{111} surface as a function of ion fluence and energy. Under the influence of the beam a periodic surface nanopattern develops. The periodicity of the pattern shows a power-law dependence on the ion fluence. Simultaneously, helium implantation occurs. Depending on the fluence and primary energy, porous nanostructures or large blisters form on the sample surface. The growth of the helium bubbles responsible for this effect is discussed.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.4.53
PMCID: PMC3740815  PMID: 23946914
formation and healing of defects in crystals; helium ion microscopy; ion beam/solid interactions; vacancies in crystals
8.  Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM) for the imaging of biological samples at sub-nanometer resolution 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:3514.
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) has long been the standard in imaging the sub-micrometer surface ultrastructure of both hard and soft materials. In the case of biological samples, it has provided great insights into their physical architecture. However, three of the fundamental challenges in the SEM imaging of soft materials are that of limited imaging resolution at high magnification, charging caused by the insulating properties of most biological samples and the loss of subtle surface features by heavy metal coating. These challenges have recently been overcome with the development of the Helium Ion Microscope (HIM), which boasts advances in charge reduction, minimized sample damage, high surface contrast without the need for metal coating, increased depth of field, and 5 angstrom imaging resolution. We demonstrate the advantages of HIM for imaging biological surfaces as well as compare and contrast the effects of sample preparation techniques and their consequences on sub-nanometer ultrastructure.
doi:10.1038/srep03514
PMCID: PMC3865489  PMID: 24343236
9.  Electron Microscopy Localization and Characterization of Functionalized Composite Organic-Inorganic SERS Nanoparticles on Leukemia Cells 
Ultramicroscopy  2008;109(1):111-121.
We demonstrate the use of electron microscopy as a powerful characterization tool to identify and locate antibody-conjugated composite organic-inorganic (COINs) surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles on cells. U937 leukemia cells labeled with antibody CD54-conjugated COINs were characterized in their native, hydrated state using wet Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and in their dehydrated state using high-resolution SEM. In both cases, the backscattered electron detector (BSE) was used to detect and identify the silver constituents in COINs due to its high sensitivity to atomic number variations within a specimen. The imaging and analytical capabilities in the SEM were further complemented by higher resolution Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) images and Scanning Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) data to give reliable and high-resolution information about nanoparticles and their binding to cell surface antigens.
doi:10.1016/j.ultramic.2008.09.004
PMCID: PMC2650478  PMID: 18995965
SERS Nanoparticles on Cells; Scanning Electron Microscopy; Transmission Electron Microscopy; Scanning Auger Electron Spectroscopy
10.  Ice-assisted electron beam lithography of graphene 
Nanotechnology  2012;23(18):185302.
We demonstrate that a low energy focused electron beam can locally pattern graphene coated with a thin ice layer. The irradiated ice plays a crucial role in the process by providing activated species that locally remove graphene from a silicon dioxide substrate. After patterning the graphene, the ice resist is easily removed by sublimation to leave behind a clean surface with no further processing. More generally, our findings demonstrate that ice-assisted e-beam lithography can be used to pattern very thin materials deposited on substrate surfaces. The procedure is performed in situ in a modified scanning electron microscope. Desirable structures such as nanoribbons are created using the method. Defects in graphene from electrons backscattered from the bulk substrate are identified. They extend several microns from the e-beam writing location. We demonstrate that these defects can be greatly reduced and localised by using thinner substrates and/or gentle thermal annealing.
doi:10.1088/0957-4484/23/18/185302
PMCID: PMC3350975  PMID: 22498712
11.  Synthesis of embedded Au nanostructures by ion irradiation: influence of ion induced viscous flow and sputtering 
Summary
The ion-irradiation induced synthesis of embedded Au nanoparticles (NPs) into glass from islands of Au on a glass substrate is studied in the context of recoiling atoms, sputtering and viscous flow. Cross sectional transmission electron microscopy studies revealed the formation of Au NPs embedded in the glass substrates by the 50 keV Si− ion irradiation of irregularly shaped Au nanostructures on the glass surfaces at a fluence of 3 × 1016 ions/cm2. The depth profiles of Au in the samples were obtained from high-resolution Rutherford backscattering spectrometry studies. The results from TRIDYN simulation reveal the role of various ion-induced processes during the synthesis of the embedded Au NPs, viz. sputtering and recoiling atoms. Simulation and experimental results suggest that the viscous flow is one of the major factors that are responsible for the embedding of Au nanoparticles into the glass substrate.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.5.10
PMCID: PMC3944145  PMID: 24605276
embedded nanoparticles; ion beam irradiation; recoil implantation
12.  Contrast and Raman spectroscopy study of single- and few-layered charge density wave material: 2H-TaSe2 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2593.
In this article, we report the first successful preparation of single- and few-layers of tantalum diselenide (2H-TaSe2) by mechanical exfoliation technique. Number of layers is confirmed by white light contrast spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Vibrational properties of the atomically thin layers of 2H-TaSe2 are characterized by micro-Raman spectroscopy. Room temperature Raman measurements demonstrate MoS2-like spectral features, which are reliable for thickness determination. E1g mode, usually forbidden in backscattering Raman configuration is observed in the supported TaSe2 layers while disappears in the suspended layers, suggesting that this mode may be enabled because of the symmetry breaking induced by the interaction with the substrate. A systematic in-situ low temperature Raman study, for the first time, reveals the existence of incommensurate charge density wave phase transition in single and double-layered 2H-TaSe2 as reflected by a sudden softening of the second-order broad Raman mode resulted from the strong electron-phonon coupling (Kohn anomaly).
doi:10.1038/srep02593
PMCID: PMC3763362  PMID: 24005335
13.  Effect of the Nd content on the structural and photoluminescence properties of silicon-rich silicon dioxide thin films 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):161.
In this article, the microstructure and photoluminescence (PL) properties of Nd-doped silicon-rich silicon oxide (SRSO) are reported as a function of the annealing temperature and the Nd concentration. The thin films, which were grown on Si substrates by reactive magnetron co-sputtering, contain the same Si excess as determined by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra show that a phase separation occurs during the annealing because of the condensation of the Si excess resulting in the formation of silicon nanoparticles (Si-np) as detected by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements. Under non-resonant excitation at 488 nm, our Nd-doped SRSO films simultaneously exhibited PL from Si-np and Nd3+ demonstrating the efficient energy transfer between Si-np and Nd3+ and the sensitizing effect of Si-np. Upon increasing the Nd concentration from 0.08 to 4.9 at.%, our samples revealed a progressive quenching of the Nd3+ PL which can be correlated with the concomitant increase of disorder within the host matrix as shown by FTIR experiments. Moreover, the presence of Nd-oxide nanocrystals in the highest Nd-doped sample was established by XRD. It is, therefore, suggested that the Nd clustering, as well as disorder, are responsible for the concentration quenching of the PL of Nd3+.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-161
PMCID: PMC3211213  PMID: 21711673
14.  Fabrication of a new type of organic-inorganic hybrid superlattice films combined with titanium oxide and polydiacetylene 
We fabricated a new organic-inorganic hybrid superlattice film using molecular layer deposition [MLD] combined with atomic layer deposition [ALD]. In the molecular layer deposition process, polydiacetylene [PDA] layers were grown by repeated sequential adsorption of titanium tetrachloride and 2,4-hexadiyne-1,6-diol with ultraviolet polymerization under a substrate temperature of 100°C. Titanium oxide [TiO2] inorganic layers were deposited at the same temperatures with alternating surface-saturating reactions of titanium tetrachloride and water. Ellipsometry analysis showed a self-limiting surface reaction process and linear growth of the nanohybrid films. The transmission electron microscopy analysis of the titanium oxide cross-linked polydiacetylene [TiOPDA]-TiO2 thin films confirmed the MLD growth rate and showed that the films are amorphous superlattices. Composition and polymerization of the films were confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. The TiOPDA-TiO2 nanohybrid superlattice films exhibited good thermal and mechanical stabilities.
PACS: 81.07.Pr, organic-inorganic hybrid nanostructures; 82.35.-x, polymerization; 81.15.-z, film deposition; 81.15.Gh, chemical vapor deposition (including plasma enhanced CVD, MOCVD, ALD, etc.).
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-71
PMCID: PMC3269353  PMID: 22221520
organic-inorganic nanohybrid superlattices; molecular layer deposition; atomic layer deposition; polydiacetylene.
15.  Fabrication and properties of ZnO/GaN heterostructure nanocolumnar thin film on Si (111) substrate 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2013;8(1):112.
Zinc oxide thin films have been obtained on bare and GaN buffer layer decorated Si (111) substrates by pulsed laser deposition (PLD), respectively. GaN buffer layer was achieved by a two-step method. The structure, surface morphology, composition, and optical properties of these thin films were investigated by X-ray diffraction, field emission scanning electron microscopy, infrared absorption spectra, and photoluminiscence (PL) spectra, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy images indicate that the flower-like grains were presented on the surface of ZnO thin films grown on GaN/Si (111) substrate, while the ZnO thin films grown on Si (111) substrate show the morphology of inclination column. PL spectrum reveals that the ultraviolet emission efficiency of ZnO thin film on GaN buffer layer is high, and the defect emission of ZnO thin film derived from Zni and Vo is low. The results demonstrate that the existence of GaN buffer layer can greatly improve the ZnO thin film on the Si (111) substrate by PLD techniques.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-112
PMCID: PMC3599829  PMID: 23448090
PLD; ZnO thin films; GaN buffer layer; Crystal structure; Optical properties
16.  Adsorption of the ionic liquid [BMP][TFSA] on Au(111) and Ag(111): substrate effects on the structure formation investigated by STM 
Summary
In order to resolve substrate effects on the adlayer structure and structure formation and on the substrate–adsorbate and adsorbate–adsorbate interactions, we investigated the adsorption of thin films of the ionic liquid (IL) 1-butyl-1-methylpyrrolidinium-bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide [BMP][TFSA] on the close-packed Ag(111) and Au(111) surfaces by scanning tunneling microscopy, under ultra high vacuum (UHV) conditions in the temperature range between about 100 K and 293 K. At room temperature, highly mobile 2D liquid adsorbate phases were observed on both surfaces. At low temperatures, around 100 K, different adsorbed IL phases were found to coexist on these surfaces, both on silver and gold: a long-range ordered (‘2D crystalline’) phase and a short-range ordered (‘2D glass’) phase. Both phases exhibit different characteristics on the two surfaces. On Au(111), the surface reconstruction plays a major role in the structure formation of the 2D crystalline phase. In combination with recent density functional theory calculations, the sub-molecularly resolved STM images allow to clearly discriminate between the [BMP]+ cation and [TFSA]− anion.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.4.102
PMCID: PMC3869266  PMID: 24367760
adsorption; Ag; Au; [BMP][TFSA]; ionic liquids; scanning tunnelling microscopy; self-assembly
17.  Fabrication of carbon nanomembranes by helium ion beam lithography 
Summary
The irradiation-induced cross-linking of aromatic self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) is a universal method for the fabrication of ultrathin carbon nanomembranes (CNMs). Here we demonstrate the cross-linking of aromatic SAMs due to exposure to helium ions. The distinction of cross-linked from non-cross-linked regions in the SAM was facilitated by transferring the irradiated SAM to a new substrate, which allowed for an ex situ observation of the cross-linking process by helium ion microscopy (HIM). In this way, three growth regimes of cross-linked areas were identified: formation of nuclei, one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) growth. The evaluation of the corresponding HIM images revealed the dose-dependent coverage, i.e., the relative monolayer area, whose density of cross-links surpassed a certain threshold value, as a function of the exposure dose. A complete cross-linking of aromatic SAMs by He+ ion irradiation requires an exposure dose of about 850 µC/cm2, which is roughly 60 times smaller than the corresponding electron irradiation dose. Most likely, this is due to the energy distribution of secondary electrons shifted to lower energies, which results in a more efficient dissociative electron attachment (DEA) process.
doi:10.3762/bjnano.5.20
PMCID: PMC3943867  PMID: 24605285
carbon nanomembranes; dissociative electron attachment; helium ion microscopy; ion beam-organic molecules interactions; self-assembled monolayers
18.  Direct observation of crystal defects in an organic molecular crystals of copper hexachlorophthalocyanine by STEM-EELS 
Scientific Reports  2012;2:252.
The structural analysis of crystal defects in organic thin films provides fundamental insights into their electronic properties for applications such as field effect transistors. Observation of crystal defects in organic thin films has previously been performed at rather low resolution by conventional transmission electron microscopy based on phase-contrast imaging. Herein, we apply for the first time annular dark-field imaging to the direct observation of grain boundaries in copper hexachlorophthalocyanine thin films at the atomic resolution level by using an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope combined with electron energy-loss spectroscopy. By using a low-dose technique and an optimized detection angle, we were able to visualize the contrast of light element (C and N) together with the heavier elements (Cl and Cu) within the molecular column. We were also able to identify unexpected molecular orientations in the grain boundaries along the {110} crystallographic planes giving rise to stacking faults.
doi:10.1038/srep00252
PMCID: PMC3273783  PMID: 22355764
19.  Imaging and elemental mapping of biological specimens with a dual-EDS dedicated scanning transmission electron microscope 
Ultramicroscopy  2013;128:24-31.
A dedicated analytical scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with dual energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) detectors has been designed for complementary high performance imaging as well as high sensitivity elemental analysis and mapping of biological structures. The performance of this new design, based on a Hitachi HD-2300A model, was evaluated using a variety of biological specimens. With three imaging detectors, both the surface and internal structure of cells can be examined simultaneously. The whole-cell elemental mapping, especially of heavier metal species that have low cross-section for electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), can be faithfully obtained. Optimization of STEM imaging conditions is applied to thick sections as well as thin sections of biological cells under low-dose conditions at room- and cryogenic temperatures. Such multimodal capabilities applied to soft/biological structures usher a new era for analytical studies in biological systems.
doi:10.1016/j.ultramic.2013.01.004
PMCID: PMC3658130  PMID: 23500508
20.  Deposition of F-doped ZnO transparent thin films using ZnF2-doped ZnO target under different sputtering substrate temperatures 
Highly transparent and conducting fluorine-doped ZnO (FZO) thin films were deposited onto glass substrates by radio-frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering, using 1.5 wt% zinc fluoride (ZnF2)-doped ZnO as sputtering target. Structural, electrical, and optical properties of the FZO thin films were investigated as a function of substrate temperature ranging from room temperature (RT) to 300°C. The cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation and X-ray diffraction analyses showed that the FZO thin films were of polycrystalline nature with a preferential growth along (002) plane perpendicular to the surface of the glass substrate. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) analyses of the FZO thin films showed that there was incorporation of F atoms in the FZO thin films, even if the substrate temperature was 300°C. Finally, the effect of substrate temperature on the transmittance ratio, optical energy gap, Hall mobility, carrier concentration, and resistivity of the FZO thin films was also investigated.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-97
PMCID: PMC3984747  PMID: 24572004
Deposition; FZO thin films; Secondary ion mass spectrometry
21.  Morphogenesis of Influenza A Virus in Ehrlich Ascites Tumor Cells as Revealed by Thin-Sectioning and Freeze-Etching 
Journal of Virology  1969;4(5):769-776.
The budding of a tumor-adapted strain of influenza A0 virus at the surface of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells was studied by electron microscopy. Thin sections of budding sites showed the formation of a fuzzy coat on the outside of the cell membrane and simultaneously the apposition of a dark layer on the inner side. The continuity of cellular and viral membrane seemed to be preserved up to the point where the virion remained attached by only a thin stalk. Freeze-etching of virus budding sites yielded pictures in which a clear differentiation between the viral membrane and the host cell membrane was visible. The breaks across the fuzzy coat revealed striations corresponding to the “spikes” seen in negative contrast, whereas tangentially broken virus particles were best interpreted by assuming that splitting occurred midway between the two outer layers of the envelope.
Images
PMCID: PMC375936  PMID: 5391162
22.  Self-assembled growth of MnSi~1.7 nanowires with a single orientation and a large aspect ratio on Si(110) surfaces 
MnSi~1.7 nanowires (NWs) with a single orientation and a large aspect ratio have been formed on a Si(110) surface with the molecular beam epitaxy method by a delicate control of growth parameters, such as temperature, deposition rate, and deposition time. Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) was employed to study the influence of these parameters on the growth of NWs. The supply of free Si atoms per unit time during the silicide reaction plays a critical role in the growth kinetics of the NWs. High growth temperature and low deposition rate are favorable for the formation of NWs with a large aspect ratio. The orientation relationship between the NWs and the reconstruction rows of the Si(110) surface suggests that the NWs grow along the 11¯0 direction of the silicon substrate. High-resolution STM and backscattered electron scanning electron microscopy images indicate that the NWs are composed of MnSi~1.7.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-45
PMCID: PMC3583066  PMID: 23339353
Self-assembled growth; Nanowires; Transition metal silicides; Scanning tunneling spectroscopy; Silicon (110).
23.  The use of quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) for studying nanoparticle-induced platelet aggregation 
Interactions between blood platelets and nanoparticles have both pharmacological and toxicological significance and may lead to platelet activation and aggregation. Platelet aggregation is usually studied using light aggregometer that neither mimics the conditions found in human microvasculature nor detects microaggregates. A new method for the measurement of platelet microaggregation under flow conditions using a commercially available quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) has recently been developed. The aim of the current study was to investigate if QCM-D could be used for the measurement of nanoparticle-platelet interactions. Silica, polystyrene, and gold nanoparticles were tested. The interactions were also studied using light aggregometry and flow cytometry, which measured surface abundance of platelet receptors. Platelet activation was imaged using phase contrast and scanning helium ion microscopy. QCM-D was able to measure nanoparticle-induced platelet microaggregation for all nanoparticles tested at concentrations that were undetectable by light aggregometry and flow cytometry. Microaggregates were measured by changes in frequency and dissipation, and the presence of platelets on the sensor surface was confirmed and imaged by phase contrast and scanning helium ion microscopy.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S26679
PMCID: PMC3263416  PMID: 22275839
platelet aggregation; nanoparticles; light aggregometer; quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation; scanning helium ion microscopy
24.  Investigations into the impact of various substrates and ZnO ultra thin seed layers prepared by atomic layer deposition on growth of ZnO nanowire array 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2012;7(1):368.
The impact of various substrates and zinc oxide (ZnO) ultra thin seed layers prepared by atomic layer deposition on the geometric morphology of subsequent ZnO nanowire arrays (NWs) fabricated by the hydrothermal method was investigated. The investigated substrates included B-doped ZnO films, indium tin oxide films, single crystal silicon (111), and glass sheets. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction measurements revealed that the geometry and aligment of the NWs were controlled by surface topography of the substrates and thickness of the ZnO seed layers, respectively. According to atomic force microscopy data, we suggest that the substrate, fluctuate amplitude and fluctuate frequency of roughness on ZnO seed layers have a great impact on the alignment of the resulting NWs, whereas the influence of the seed layers' texture was negligible.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-368
PMCID: PMC3496633  PMID: 22759838
ZnO; Seed layers; The fluctuate amplitude; Frequency of roughness
25.  Revelation of graphene-Au for direct write deposition and characterization 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):424.
Graphene nanosheets were prepared using a modified Hummer's method, and Au-graphene nanocomposites were fabricated by in situ reduction of a gold salt. The as-produced graphene was characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM). In particular, the HR-TEM demonstrated the layered crystallites of graphene with fringe spacing of about 0.32 nm in individual sheets and the ultrafine facetted structure of about 20 to 50 nm of Au particles in graphene composite. Scanning helium ion microscopy (HIM) technique was employed to demonstrate direct write deposition on graphene by lettering with gaps down to 7 nm within the chamber of the microscope. Bare graphene and graphene-gold nanocomposites were further characterized in terms of their composition and optical and electrical properties.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-424
PMCID: PMC3211841  PMID: 21711490

Results 1-25 (790993)