Self-assembled two-dimensional arrays of either 14 nm hcp-Co or 6 nm ε-Co particle components were treated by hydrogen plasma for various exposure times. A change of hysteretic sample behavior depending on the treatment duration is reported, which can be divided in two time scales: oxygen reduction increases the particle magnetization during the first 20 min, which is followed by an alteration of the magnetic response shape. The latter depends on the respective particle species. Based on the Landau–Lifshitz equations for a discrete set of magnetic moments, we propose a model that relates the change of the hysteresis loops to a dipole-driven ordering of the magnetocrystalline easy axes within the particle plane due to the high spatial aspect ratio of the system.
dipolar particle coupling; magnetic nanoparticles; magnetocrystalline anisotropy; monolayers
The recent achievement of atomic resolution with dynamic atomic force microscopy (dAFM) [Fukuma et al., Appl. Phys. Lett.
2005, 87, 034101], where quality factors of the oscillating probe are inherently low, challenges some accepted beliefs concerning sensitivity and resolution in dAFM imaging modes. Through analysis and experiment we study the performance metrics for high-resolution imaging with dAFM in liquid media with amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM) and drive-amplitude modulation (DAM) imaging modes. We find that while the quality factors of dAFM probes may deviate by several orders of magnitude between vacuum and liquid media, their sensitivity to tip–sample forces can be remarkable similar. Furthermore, the reduction in noncontact forces and quality factors in liquids diminishes the role of feedback control in achieving high-resolution images. The theoretical findings are supported by atomic-resolution images of mica in water acquired with AM, FM and DAM under similar operating conditions.
atomic force microscopy; dAFM; high-resolution; liquids
The catalytic properties of nanostructured Au and their physical origin were investigated by using the low-temperature CO oxidation as a test reaction. In order to distinguish between structural effects (structure–activity correlations) and bimetallic/bifunctional effects, unsupported nanoporous gold (NPG) samples prepared from different Au alloys (AuAg, AuCu) by selective leaching of a less noble metal (Ag, Cu) were employed, whose structure (surface area, ligament size) as well as their residual amount of the second metal were systematically varied by applying different potentials for dealloying. The structural and chemical properties before and after 1000 min reaction were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The catalytic behavior was evaluated by kinetic measurements in a conventional microreactor and by dynamic measurements in a temporal analysis of products (TAP) reactor. The data reveal a clear influence of the surface contents of residual Ag and Cu species on both O2 activation and catalytic activity, while correlations between activity and structural parameters such as surface area or ligament/crystallite size are less evident. Consequences for the mechanistic understanding and the role of the nanostructure in these NPG catalysts are discussed.
AuAg alloy; AuCu alloy; CO oxidation; dynamic studies; kinetics; nanoporous Au (NPG) catalyst; oxygen storage capacity (OSC); temporal analysis of products (TAP)
Local curvature, or bending, of a graphene sheet is known to increase the chemical reactivity presenting an opportunity for templated chemical functionalisation. Using first-principles calculations based on density functional theory (DFT), we investigate the reaction barrier reduction for the adsorption of atomic hydrogen at linear bends in graphene. We find a significant barrier lowering (≈15%) for realistic radii of curvature (≈20 Å) and that adsorption along the linear bend leads to a stable linear kink. We compute the electronic transport properties of individual and multiple kink lines, and demonstrate how these act as efficient barriers for electron transport. In particular, two parallel kink lines form a graphene pseudo-nanoribbon structure with a semimetallic/semiconducting electronic structure closely related to the corresponding isolated ribbons; the ribbon band gap translates into a transport gap for electronic transport across the kink lines. We finally consider pseudo-ribbon-based heterostructures and propose that such structures present a novel approach for band gap engineering in nanostructured graphene.
adsorption and reactivity; curvature effects; DFT calculations; electronic transport; graphene nanoribbons; graphene nanostructuring
Four novel organotin(IV) complexes containing phosphoric triamide ligands were synthesized and characterized by multinuclear (1H, 31P, 13C) NMR, infrared, ultraviolet and fluorescence spectroscopy as well as elemental analysis. The 1H NMR spectra of complexes 1–4 proved that the Sn atoms adopt octahedral configurations. The nanoparticles of the complexes were also prepared by ultrasonication, and their SEM micrographs indicated identical spherical morphologies with particles sizes about 20–25 nm. The fluorescence spectra exhibited blue shifts for the maximum wavelength of emission upon complexation.
luminescence; nanoparticles; organotin(IV) complexes; phosphoric triamide; ultrasonic
We introduce a novel and potentially powerful, yet relatively simple extension of the spectral inversion method, which offers the possibility of carrying out 4-dimensional (4D) atomic force spectroscopy. With the extended spectral inversion method it is theoretically possible to measure the tip–sample forces as a function of the three Cartesian coordinates in the scanning volume (x, y and z) and the vertical velocity of the tip, through a single 2-dimensional (2D) surface scan. Although signal-to-noise ratio limitations can currently prevent the accurate experimental implementation of the 4D method, and the extraction of rate-dependent material properties from the force maps is a formidable challenge, the spectral inversion method is a promising approach due to its dynamic nature, robustness, relative simplicity and previous successes.
atomic force microscopy; spectral inversion; spectroscopy; torsional harmonic cantilever; viscoelasticity
Focused-electron-beam-induced deposition (FEBID) is used as a direct-write approach to decorate ultrasmall Pt nanoclusters on carbon nanotubes at selected sites in a straightforward maskless manner. The as-deposited nanostructures are studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in 2D and 3D, demonstrating that the Pt nanoclusters are well-dispersed, covering the selected areas of the CNT surface completely. The ability of FEBID to graft nanoclusters on multiple sides, through an electron-transparent target within one step, is unique as a physical deposition method. Using high-resolution TEM we have shown that the CNT structure can be well preserved thanks to the low dose used in FEBID. By tuning the electron-beam parameters, the density and distribution of the nanoclusters can be controlled. The purity of as-deposited nanoclusters can be improved by low-energy electron irradiation at room temperature.
carbon nanotubes; FEBID; nanocluster; platinum; patterning; radiation-induced nanostructures; TEM
The influence of applied normal load and roughness on the tribological behavior between the indenter and sample surface during nanoindentation-based scratching has been experimentally investigated by using different surfaces (fused silica and diamond-like carbon) featuring various degrees of roughness. At a sufficiently low applied normal load, wherein the contact is elastic, the friction coefficient is constant. However, at increased normal loads the contact involves plastic deformation and the friction coefficient increases with increasing normal load. The critical load range for a transition from predominantly elastic to plastic contact, between the indenter and sample surface, increases with increasing size of indenter and decreases with roughness. Distinct differences between the present experimental results and the existing theoretical models/predictions are discussed.
nanoindentation; nanotribology; scratch testing; surface roughness
We investigate the excitation as well as propagation of magnetic modes in plasmonic nanostructures. Such structures are particularly suited for excitation with cylindrical vector beams. We study magneto-inductive coupling between adjacent nanostructures. We utilize high-resolution lithographic techniques for the preparation of complex nanostructures consisting of gold as well as aluminium. These structures are subsequently characterized by linear optical spectroscopy. The well characterized and designed structures are afterwards studied in depth by exciting them with radial and azimuthally polarized light and simultaneously measuring their plasmonic near-field behavior. Additionally, we attempt to model and simulate our results, a project which has, to the best of our knowledge, not been attempted so far.
near-field microscopy; oligomers; plasmons; radial and azimuthal polarization
Intermodulation atomic force microscopy (ImAFM) is a mode of dynamic atomic force microscopy that probes the nonlinear tip–surface force by measurement of the mixing of multiple modes in a frequency comb. A high-quality factor cantilever resonance and a suitable drive comb will result in tip motion described by a narrow-band frequency comb. We show, by a separation of time scales, that such motion is equivalent to rapid oscillations at the cantilever resonance with a slow amplitude and phase or frequency modulation. With this time-domain perspective, we analyze single oscillation cycles in ImAFM to extract the Fourier components of the tip–surface force that are in-phase with the tip motion (F
I) and quadrature to the motion (F
Q). Traditionally, these force components have been considered as a function of the static-probe height only. Here we show that F
I and F
Q actually depend on both static-probe height and oscillation amplitude. We demonstrate on simulated data how to reconstruct the amplitude dependence of F
I and F
Q from a single ImAFM measurement. Furthermore, we introduce ImAFM approach measurements with which we reconstruct the full amplitude and probe-height dependence of the force components F
I and F
Q, providing deeper insight into the tip–surface interaction. We demonstrate the capabilities of ImAFM approach measurements on a polystyrene polymer surface.
atomic force microscopy; AFM; frequency combs; force spectroscopy; high-quality-factor resonators; intermodulation; multifrequency
The noise of the frequency-shift signal Δf in noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) consists of cantilever thermal noise, tip–surface-interaction noise and instrumental noise from the detection and signal processing systems. We investigate how the displacement-noise spectral density d
z at the input of the frequency demodulator propagates to the frequency-shift-noise spectral density d
f at the demodulator output in dependence of cantilever properties and settings of the signal processing electronics in the limit of a negligible tip–surface interaction and a measurement under ultrahigh-vacuum conditions. For a quantification of the noise figures, we calibrate the cantilever displacement signal and determine the transfer function of the signal-processing electronics. From the transfer function and the measured d
z, we predict d
f for specific filter settings, a given level of detection-system noise spectral density d
ds and the cantilever-thermal-noise spectral density d
th. We find an excellent agreement between the calculated and measured values for d
f. Furthermore, we demonstrate that thermal noise in d
f, defining the ultimate limit in NC-AFM signal detection, can be kept low by a proper choice of the cantilever whereby its Q-factor should be given most attention. A system with a low-noise signal detection and a suitable cantilever, operated with appropriate filter and feedback-loop settings allows room temperature NC-AFM measurements at a low thermal-noise limit with a significant bandwidth.
Cantilever; feedback loop; filter; noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM); noise
In qPlus atomic force microscopy the tip length can in principle approach the length of the cantilever. We present a detailed mathematical model of the effects this has on the dynamic properties of the qPlus sensor. The resulting, experimentally confirmed motion of the tip apex is shown to have a large lateral component, raising interesting questions for both calibration and force-spectroscopy measurements.
atomic force microscopy; force spectroscopy; lateral forces; mechanical vibrations; qPlus
In this paper we present a comparison of three different methods that can be used for estimating the stiffness of qPlus sensors. The first method is based on continuum theory of elasticity. The second (Cleveland’s method) uses the change in the eigenfrequency that is induced by the loading of small masses. Finally, the stiffness is obtained by analysis of the thermal noise spectrum. We show that all three methods give very similar results. Surprisingly, neither the gold wire nor the gluing give rise to significant changes of the stiffness in the case of our home-built sensors. Furthermore we describe a fast and cost-effective way to perform Cleveland’s method. This method is based on gluing small pieces of a tungsten wire; the mass is obtained from the volume of the wire, which is measured by optical microscopy. To facilitate detection of oscillation eigenfrequencies under ambient conditions, we designed and built a device for testing qPlus sensors.
AFM; Cleveland’s method; cross talk; force; qPlus; stiffness; STM; thermal noise; tuning fork
The electronic and structural properties of oligo- and polythiophenes that can be used as building blocks for molecular electronic devices have been studied by using periodic density functional theory calculations. We have in particular focused on the effect of substituents on the electronic structure of thiophenes. Whereas singly bonded substituents, such as methyl, amino or nitro groups, change the electronic properties of thiophene monomers and dimers, they hardly influence the band gap of polythiophene. In contrast, phenyl-substituted polythiophenes as well as vinyl-bridged polythiophene derivatives exhibit drastically modified band gaps. These effects cannot be explained by simple electron removal or addition, as calculations for charged polythiophenes demonstrate.
band gaps; conducting polymers; density functional theory calculations; molecular electronics; oligothiophenes
We demonstrate the coupling of single color centers in diamond to plasmonic and dielectric photonic structures to realize novel nanophotonic devices. Nanometer spatial control in the creation of single color centers in diamond is achieved by implantation of nitrogen atoms through high-aspect-ratio channels in a mica mask. Enhanced broadband single-photon emission is demonstrated by coupling nitrogen–vacancy centers to plasmonic resonators, such as metallic nanoantennas. Improved photon-collection efficiency and directed emission is demonstrated by solid immersion lenses and micropillar cavities. Thereafter, the coupling of diamond nanocrystals to the guided modes of micropillar resonators is discussed along with experimental results. Finally, we present a gas-phase-doping approach to incorporate color centers based on nickel and tungsten, in situ into diamond using microwave-plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The fabrication of silicon–vacancy centers in nanodiamonds by microwave-plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition is discussed in addition.
CVD diamond doping; diamond; nanophotonics; NV center; plasmonic resonator; solid immersion lens
Patterning of materials at sub-10 nm dimensions is at the forefront of nanotechnology and employs techniques of various complexity, efficiency, areal scale, and cost. Colloid-based patterning is known to be capable of producing individual sub-10 nm objects. However, ordered, large-area nano-arrays, fully integrated into photonic or electronic devices have remained a challenging task. In this work, we extend the practice of colloidal lithography to producing large-area sub-10 nm point-contact arrays and demonstrate their circuit integration into spin-photo-electronic devices. The reported nanofabrication method should have broad application areas in nanotechnology as it allows ballistic-injection devices, even for metallic materials with relatively short characteristic relaxation lengths.
magnetic point contact arrays; spin laser; sub-10 nm colloidal lithography
Single- and multilayer graphene and highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) were exposed to a pure hydrogen low-temperature plasma (LTP). Characterizations include various experimental techniques such as photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy. Our photoemission measurement shows that hydrogen LTP exposed HOPG has a diamond-like valence-band structure, which suggests double-sided hydrogenation. With the scanning tunneling microscopy technique, various atomic-scale charge-density patterns were observed, which may be associated with different C–H conformers. Hydrogen-LTP-exposed graphene on SiO2 has a Raman spectrum in which the D peak to G peak ratio is over 4, associated with hydrogenation on both sides. A very low defect density was observed in the scanning probe microscopy measurements, which enables a reverse transformation to graphene. Hydrogen-LTP-exposed HOPG possesses a high thermal stability, and therefore, this transformation requires annealing at over 1000 °C.
graphane; HOPG; hydrogenation; plasma
The most important limitation for a significant increase of the areal storage density in magnetic recording is the superparamagnetic effect. Below a critical grain size of the used CoCrPt exchange-decoupled granular films the information cannot be stored for a reasonable time (typically ten years) due to thermal fluctuations arbitrary flipping of the magnetization direction. An alternative approach that may provide higher storage densities is the use of so-called percolated media, in which defect structures are imprinted in an exchange-coupled magnetic film. Such percolated magnetic films are investigated in the present work. We employ preparation routes that are based on (i) self-assembly of Au nanoparticles and (ii) homogeneous size-reduction of self-assembled polystyrene particles. On such non-close-packed nanostructures thin Fe films or Co/Pt multilayers are grown with in-plane and out-of-plane easy axis of magnetization. The impact of the particles on the magnetic switching behavior is measured by both integral magnetometry and magnetic microscopy techniques. We observe enhanced coercive fields while the switching field distribution is broadened compared to thin-film reference samples. It appears possible to tailor the magnetic domain sizes down to the width of an unperturbed domain wall in a continuous film, and moreover, we observe pinning and nucleation at or close to the imprinted defect structures.
colloidal lithography; magnetic data storage; magnetic nanostructures; percolated films
We recently introduced a method that allows the controlled deposition of nanoscale metallic patterns at defined locations using the tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) as a “mechano-electrochemical pen”, locally activating a passivated substrate surface for site-selective electrochemical deposition. Here, we demonstrate the reversibility of this process and study the long-term stability of the resulting metallic structures. The remarkable stability for more than 1.5 years under ambient air without any observable changes can be attributed to self-passivation. After AFM-activated electrochemical deposition of copper nanostructures on a polycrystalline gold film and subsequent AFM imaging, the copper nanostructures could be dissolved by reversing the electrochemical potential. Subsequent AFM-tip-activated deposition of different copper nanostructures at the same location where the previous structures were deleted, shows that there is no observable memory effect, i.e., no effect of the previous writing process on the subsequent writing process. Thus, the four processes required for reversible information storage, “write”, “read”, “delete” and “re-write”, were successfully demonstrated on the nanometer scale.
atomic force microscopy; electrochemical deposition; electrochemistry; nanoelectronics; nanofabrication; nanolithography; nanotechnology; MEMS and NEMS; reversible processes; scanning probe microscopy and lithography
A double-lateral-gate p-type junctionless transistor is fabricated on a low-doped (1015) silicon-on-insulator wafer by a lithography technique based on scanning probe microscopy and two steps of wet chemical etching. The experimental transfer characteristics are obtained and compared with the numerical characteristics of the device. The simulation results are used to investigate the pinch-off mechanism, from the flat band to the off state. The study is based on the variation of the carrier density and the electric-field components. The device is a pinch-off transistor, which is normally in the on state and is driven into the off state by the application of a positive gate voltage. We demonstrate that the depletion starts from the bottom corner of the channel facing the gates and expands toward the center and top of the channel. Redistribution of the carriers due to the electric field emanating from the gates creates an electric field perpendicular to the current, toward the bottom of the channel, which provides the electrostatic squeezing of the current.
AFM nanolithography; junctionless transistors; pinch-off; scanning probe microscope; simulation
We present an overview of experimental and numerical methods to determine the spring constant of a quartz tuning fork in qPlus configuration. The simple calculation for a rectangular cantilever is compared to the values obtained by the analysis of the thermal excitation and by the direct mechanical measurement of the force versus displacement. To elucidate the difference, numerical simulations were performed taking account of the real geometry including the glue that is used to mount the tuning fork.
atomic force microscopy; finite element method; spring constant; thermal fluctuation; tuning fork
We report on an experimental analysis of the charge transport through sulfur-free photochromic molecular junctions. The conductance of individual molecules contacted with gold electrodes and the current–voltage characteristics of these junctions are measured in a mechanically controlled break-junction system at room temperature and in liquid environment. We compare the transport properties of a series of molecules, labeled TSC, MN, and 4Py, with the same switching core but varying side-arms and end-groups designed for providing the mechanical and electrical contact to the gold electrodes. We perform a detailed analysis of the transport properties of TSC in its open and closed states. We find rather broad distributions of conductance values in both states. The analysis, based on the assumption that the current is carried by a single dominating molecular orbital, reveals distinct differences between both states. We discuss the appearance of diode-like behavior for the particular species 4Py that features end-groups, which preferentially couple to the metal electrode by physisorption. We show that the energetic position of the molecular orbital varies as a function of the transmission. Finally, we show for the species MN that the use of two cyano end-groups on each side considerably enhances the coupling strength compared to the typical behavior of a single cyano group.
diarylethene; mechanically controllable break-junction; molecular electronics; photoswitching; single-molecule junctions
Recent advances in near-edge X-ray-absorption fine-structure spectroscopy coupled with transmission X-ray microscopy (NEXAFS–TXM) allow large-area mapping investigations of individual nano-objects with spectral resolution up to E/ΔE = 104 and spatial resolution approaching 10 nm. While the state-of-the-art spatial resolution of X-ray microscopy is limited by nanostructuring process constrains of the objective zone plate, we show here that it is possible to overcome this through close coupling with high-level theoretical modelling. Taking the example of isolated bundles of hydrothermally prepared sodium titanate nanotubes ((Na,H)TiNTs) we are able to unravel the complex nanoscale structure from the NEXAFS–TXM data using multichannel multiple-scattering calculations, to the extent of being able to associate specific spectral features in the O K-edge and Ti L-edge with oxygen atoms in distinct sites within the lattice. These can even be distinguished from the contribution of different hydroxyl groups to the electronic structure of the (Na,H)TiNTs.
multichannel multiple scattering; nanotubes; NEXAFS; sodium titanates
Scanning- and colloidal-probe atomic force microscopy were used to study the mechanical properties of poly(L-lysine)/hyaluronan (PLL/HA)n films as a function of indentation velocity and the number of polymer deposition steps n. The film thickness was determined by two independent AFM-based methods: scratch-and-scan and newly developed full-indentation. The advantages and disadvantages of both methods are highlighted, and error minimization techniques in elasticity measurements are addressed. It was found that the film thickness increases linearly with the bilayer number n, ranging between 400 and 7500 nm for n = 12 and 96, respectively. The apparent Young’s modulus E ranges between 15 and 40 kPa and does not depend on the indenter size or the film bilayer number n. Stress relaxation measurements show that PLL/HA films have a viscoelastic behaviour, regardless of their thickness. If indentation is performed several times at the same lateral position on the film, a viscous/plastic deformation takes place.
atomic force microscopy; polyelectrolyte multilayers; stress relaxation; viscoelasticity; Young’s modulus
For many applications it is desirable to have nanoparticles positioned on top of a given substrate well separated from each other and arranged in arrays of a certain geometry. For this purpose, a method is introduced combining the bottom-up self-organization of precursor-loaded micelles providing Au nanoparticles (NPs), with top-down electron-beam lithography. As an example, 13 nm Au NPs are arranged in a square array with interparticle distances >1 µm on top of Si substrates. By using these NPs as masks for a subsequent reactive ion etching, the square pattern is transferred into Si as a corresponding array of nanopillars.
electron beam lithography; nanoparticles; positioning; self-assembling; unconventional lithography