Index of content:
Volume 82, Issue 5, May 2011
The instrumental synthesis of high resolution scanning tunneling microscopy(STM) with the ability to measure differential capacitance with atomic scale resolution is highly desirable for fundamental metrology and for the study of novel physical characteristics. Microwave frequency radiation directed at the tip-sample junction in an STM system allows for such high-resolution differential capacitance information. This ability is particularly critical in ultrahigh vacuum environments, where the additional parameter space afforded by including a capacitancemeasurement would prove powerful. Here we describe the modifications made to a commercial scanning tunneling microscope to allow for broad microwave frequency alternating current scanning tunneling microscopy (ACSTM) in ultrahigh vacuum conditions using a relatively simple loop antenna and microwave difference frequency detection. The advantages of our system are twofold. First, the use of a removable antenna on a commercial STM prevents interference with other UHV processes while providing a simple method to retrofit any commercial UHV-STM with UHV-ACSTM capability. Second, mounting the microwaveantenna on a translator allows for specific tuning of the system to replicate experimental conditions between samples, which is particularly critical in sensitive systems like organic thin films or single molecules where small changes in incident power can affect the results. Our innovation therefore provides a valuable approach to give nearly any commercial STM, be it an ambient or UHV system, the capability to measure atomic-scale microwave studies such as differential capacitance or even single molecule microwave response, and it ensures that experimental ACSTM conditions can be held constant between different samples.
- Optics; Atoms and Molecules; Spectroscopy; Photon Detectors
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3585981View Description Hide Description
Experiments dedicated to the characterization of plasmamirrors with a high energy, single shot short-pulse laser were performed at the 100 TW target area of the Z-Backlighter Facility at Sandia National Laboratories. A suite of beam diagnostics was used to characterize a high energy laser pulse with a large aperture through focus imaging setup. By varying the fluence on the plasmamirror around the plasma ignition threshold, critical performance parameters were determined and a more detailed understanding of the way in which a plasmamirror works could be deduced. It was found, that very subtle variations in the laser near field profile will have strong effects on the reflected pulse if the maximum fluence on the plasmamirror approaches the plasma ignition threshold.
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3587070View Description Hide Description
Photonic terahertz (THz) technology using femtosecond (fs) lasers has a great potential in a wide range of applications, such as non-destructive testing of objects or spectroscopic identification of chemical substances. For industrial purposes, a THz system has to be compact and easily implementable into the particular application. Therefore, fiber-coupled THz systems are the key to a widespread use of THz technology. In order to have flexible THz emitters and detectors near infrared fs light pulses have to be sent through optical fibers of considerable length. As a consequence, the fiber's dispersion has to be compensated for and nonlinear effects in the fiber have to be minimized. A fiber-based THz time-domain spectroscopy system of high stability, flexibility, and portability is presented here.
Measurement of the refractive index dispersion of As2Se3 bulk glass and thin films prior to and after laser irradiation and annealing using prism coupling in the near- and mid-infrared spectral range82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3587616View Description Hide Description
The prism coupling technique has been utilized to measure the refractive index in the near- and mid-IR spectral region of chalcogenide glasses in bulk and thin film form. A commercial system (Metricon model 2010) has been modified with additional laser sources, detectors, and a new GaP prism to allow the measurement of refractive indexdispersion over the 1.5–10.6 μm range. The instrumental error was found to be ±0.001 refractive index units across the entire wavelength region examined. Measurements on thermally evaporated AMTIR2 thin films confirmed that (i) the film deposition process provides thin films with reduced index compared to that of the bulk glass used as a target, (ii) annealing of the films increases the refractive index of the film to the level of the bulk glass used as a target to create it, and (iii) it is possible to locally increase the refractive index of the chalcogenide glass using laser exposure at 632.8 nm.
Measurement of optical-beat frequency in a photoconductive terahertz-wave generator using microwave higher harmonics82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3589859View Description Hide Description
A new method for measuring optical-beat frequencies in the terahertz (THz) region using microwave higher harmonics is presented. A microwave signal was applied to the antenna gap of a photoconductive (PC) device emitting a continuous electromagnetic wave at about 1 THz by the photomixing technique. The microwave higher harmonics with THz frequencies are generated in the PC device owing to the nonlinearity of the biased photoconductance, which is briefly described in this article. Thirteen nearly periodic peaks in the photocurrent were observed when the microwave was swept from 16 to 20 GHz at a power of −48 dBm. The nearly periodic peaks are generated by the homodyne detection of the optical beat with the microwave higher harmonics when the frequency of the harmonics coincides with the optical-beat frequency. Each peak frequency and its peak width were determined by fitting a Gaussian function, and the order of microwaveharmonics was determined using a coarse (i.e., lower resolution) measurement of the optical-beat frequency. By applying the Kalman algorithm to the peak frequencies of the higher harmonics and their standard deviations, the optical-beat frequency near 1 THz was estimated to be 1029.81 GHz with the standard deviation of 0.82 GHz. The proposed method is applicable to a conventional THz-wave generator with a photomixer.
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3592333View Description Hide Description
In order to record x-ray pulse profile for x-ray pulsar-based navigation and timing, this paper presents a continuous, high-precision method for measuring arrival times of photon sequence with a common starting point. In this method, a high stability atomic clock is counted to measure the coarse time of arrival photon. A high resolution time-to-digital converter is used to measure the fine time of arrival photon. The coarse times and the fine times are recorded continuously and then transferred to computer memory by way of memory switch. The pulse profile is obtained by a special data processing method. A special circuit was developed and a low-level x-ray pulse profile measurement experiment system was setup. The arrival times of x-rayphoton sequence can be consecutively recorded with a time resolution of 500 ps and the profile of x-ray pulse was constructed. The data also can be used for analysis by many other methods, such as statistical distribution of photon events per time interval, statistical distribution of time interval between two photon events, photon counting histogram, autocorrelation and higher order autocorrelation.
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3592581View Description Hide Description
Dynamic light scattering (DLS) is often used to monitor aggregation in protein solutions. Here, we explore the veracity of the aggregate sizes, size distribution widths, concentrations, and lifetime resulting from DLS. We use as an example a solution of the protein lysozyme in which dense liquid clusters of radius about 100 nm reproducibly exist. We compare the results of DLS to those of Brownian microscopy. We show that because of the sixth power dependence of the scattered light intensity on the size of the scatterers, DLS overestimates the mean size of the clusters. The factor of overestimation depends on the shape of the size distribution and is ∼1.6 × in the studied solution. The related underestimate of the cluster concentration is ∼10 ×. The CONTIN algorithm, often employed to process DLS data, may, in some instances, produce non-physical results. We put forth an alternative method to determine the aggregates’ sizes, concentrations, and volume fractions. We show that DLS yields a reliable width of the cluster size distribution only if the cluster concentration is above 109 cm−3 and their volume fraction is above 10−6. DLS yields a lower bound of the cluster lifetime, which may be orders of magnitude lower than the real one.
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3585980View Description Hide Description
The interest in the measurement of the elastic properties of thin films is witnessed by a number of new techniques being proposed. However, the precision of results is seldom assessed in detail. Brillouin spectroscopy (BS) is an established optical, contactless, non-destructive technique, which provides a full elastic characterization of bulk materials and thin films. In the present work, the whole process of measurement of the elastic moduli by BS is critically analyzed: experimental setup, data recording, calibration, and calculation of the elastic moduli. It is shown that combining BS with ellipsometry a fully optical characterization can be obtained. The key factors affecting uncertainty of the results are identified and discussed. A procedure is proposed to discriminate factors affecting the precision from those affecting the accuracy. By the characterization of a model transparent material, silica in bulk and film form, it is demonstrated that both precision and accuracy of the elastic modulimeasured by BS can reach 1% range, qualifying BS as a reference technique.
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3593501View Description Hide Description
A new critical angle refractometer (CAR) for high accuracy refractive indexmeasurement of liquid has been developed. The instrument improves the accuracy by two reflections in an elongated parallelogram prism, and acquires the angular reflectivity without any angle scanning parts through introduction of a point source with a divergent beam and a charge coupled device. In addition, it employs a simple and robust measurement method that gets the critical angle by differentiating the angular reflectivity. Through investigating absorbing media with absorption index κ (the imaginary part of refractive index) from 0 to 10−2.1, the theoretical calculation shows that the proposed two-reflection CAR would outperform the traditional one-reflection CAR on lowering the principal error from the differentiation method and improving the ability of getting the critical angle. By testing two typical liquids–salt-water solution and milk, the preliminary experiment indicates that this two-reflection divergent differentiating critical angle refractometer is feasible and of high accuracy.
- Particle Sources, Optics and Acceleration; Particle Detectors
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3586765View Description Hide Description
An electron cyclotron resonance charge breeder for the Californium rare ion breeder upgrade (CARIBU), a new radioactive beam facility for the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS), has been constructed and commissioned. Charge breeding efficiencies up to 15.6% have been realized for stable beams with a typical breeding time of 10 ms/charge state. The CARIBU system has been undergoing commissioning tests utilizing a 100 mCi 252Cf fission source. A charge breeding efficiency of 14.8 ± 5% has been achieved for the first radioactive beam of 143Cs27+.
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3587617View Description Hide Description
An apparatus for photodetachment studies on atomic and molecular negative ions of medium up to heavy mass (M ≃ 500) has been designed and constructed. Laser and ion beams are merged in the apparatus in a collinear geometry and atoms, neutral molecules and negative ions are detected in the forward direction. The ion optical design and the components used to optimize the mass resolution and the transmission through the extended field-free interaction region are described. A 90° sector field magnet with 50 cm bending radius in combination with two slits is used for mass dispersion providing a resolution of M/ΔM≅800 for molecular ions and M/ΔM≅400 for atomic ions. The difference in mass resolution for atomic and molecular ions is attributed to different energy distributions of the sputtered ions. With 1 mm slits, transmission from the source through the interaction region to the final ion detector was determined to be about 0.14%.
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3585866View Description Hide Description
A gain reduction process caused by successive beam irradiation in a multi-wire proportional chamber was numerically investigated to clarify the relations between the gas gain variation and the ion density distribution. A numerical code was developed based on a two-dimensional drift-diffusion model in order to evaluate the ion and electron density distributions and the electric field variation caused by the space charge effect. In order to consider the gain reduction process which occurs under the high rate and successive irradiation, the simulations were performed for the time period of ∼10–100 μs, which is much longer than the time required for ions to travel from an anode to a cathode. The numerical simulation results showed that for the low gas gain regime of ∼10, quasi-stationary density distribution of the ions was formed by the high-rate beams of ∼108 − 1010 particles per second, and that the transient variation of the gas gain became constant after establishment of the quasi-stationary ion density distributions.
A compact electron cyclotron resonance proton source for the Paul Scherrer Institute's proton accelerator facility82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3590777View Description Hide Description
A compact electron cyclotron resonance protonsource has been developed and installed recently at thePaul Scherrer Institute's high intensity proton accelerator. Operation at the ion source test stand and the accelerator demonstrates a high reliability and stability of the new source. When operated at a 10 − 12 mA net proton current the lifetime of the source exceeds 2000 h. The essential development steps towards the observed performance are described.
- Nuclear Physics, Fusion and Plasmas
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3581230View Description Hide Description
Deconvolution of Thomson scattering (TS) profiles is required when the gradient length of the electron temperature (T e ) or density (n e ) are comparable to the instrument function length (Δ R ). The most correct method for deconvolution to obtain underlying T e and n e profiles is by consideration of scattered signals. However, deconvolution at the scattered signal level is complex since it requires knowledge of all spectral and absolute calibration data. In this paper a simple technique is presented where only knowledge of the instrument function I(r) and the measured profiles, T e, observed(r) and n e, observed(r), are required to obtain underlying T e (r) and n e (r). This method is appropriate for most TS systems and is particularly important where high spatial sampling is obtained relative to Δ R .
Evaluation of an electrostatic dust removal system with potential application in next-step fusion devices82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3587619View Description Hide Description
The ability to manage inventories of carbon, tritium, and high-Z elements in fusion plasmas depends on means for effective dust removal. A dust conveyor, based on a moving electrostatic potential well, was tested with particles of tungsten,carbon, glass, and sand. A digital microscope imaged a representative portion of the conveyor, and dust particle size and volume distributions were derived before and after operation. About 10 mm3 volume of carbon and tungsten particles were moved in under 5 s. The highest driving amplitude tested of 3 kV was the most effective. The optimal driving frequency was 210 Hz (maximum tested) for tungsten particles, decreasing to below 60 Hz for the larger sand particles. Measurements of particle size and volume distributions after 10 and 100 cycles show the breaking apart of agglomerated carbon and the change in particle distribution over short timescales (<1 s).
Determination of radial location of rotating magnetic islands by use of poloidal soft x-ray detector arrays in the STOR-M tokamak82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3593110View Description Hide Description
A technique is presented for determining the radial location of the rotating magnetic islands in the STOR-M tokamak by use of soft x-ray(SXR)detector arrays. The location is determined by examining the difference in the integrated SXR emission intensities through two adjacent lines of sight. A model for calculating dependence of the line integrated SXR emission intensity on the radius, the mode numbers and the magnetic island geometry, has been developed. The SXR difference signal shows phase inversion when the impact parameter of the line of sight sweeps across the magnetic islands. Experimentally, the difference SXR signals significantly reduce noise and suppress the influence of background plasma fluctuations through common mode rejection when a dominant mode exists in the STOR-M tokamak. The radial locations of the m = 2 magnetic islands have been determined under several experimental conditions in the STOR-M discharges. With the decrease in the tokamak discharge current and thus the increase of the safety factor at the edge, the radial location of the m = 2 magnetic islands has been found to move radially inward.
- Microscopy and Imaging
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3587624View Description Hide Description
Thermomechanicalanalysis (TMA) is widely used to characterize materials and determine transition temperatures and thermal expansion coefficients. Atomic-force microscopy(AFM) microcantilevers have been used for TMA. We have developed a micromachined probe that includes two embedded sensors: one for measuring the mechanical movement of the probe (deflection) and another for providing localized heating. The new probe reduces costs and complexity and allow for portability thereby eliminating the need for an AFM. The sensitivity of the deflection element ((ΔR/R)/deflection) is 0.1 ppm/nm and its gauge factor is 3.24. The melting temperature of naphthalene is measured near 78.5 °C.
The FAST module: An add-on unit for driving commercial scanning probe microscopes at video rate and beyond82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3585984View Description Hide Description
We present the design and the performance of the FAST (Fast Acquisition of SPM Timeseries) module, an add-on instrument that can drive commercial scanning probe microscopes (SPM) at and beyond video rate image frequencies. In the design of this module, we adopted and integrated several technical solutions previously proposed by different groups in order to overcome the problems encountered when driving SPMs at high scanning frequencies. The fast probe motion control and signal acquisition are implemented in a way that is totally transparent to the existing control electronics, allowing the user to switch immediately and seamlessly to the fast scanning mode when imaging in the conventional slow mode. The unit provides a completely non-invasive, fast scanning upgrade to common SPM instruments that are not specifically designed for high speed scanning. To test its performance, we used this module to drive a commercial scanning tunneling microscope (STM) system in a quasi-constant height mode to frame rates of 100 Hz and above, demonstrating extremely stable and high resolution imaging capabilities. The module is extremely versatile and its application is not limited to STM setups but can, in principle, be generalized to any scanning probe instrument.
A modular designed ultra-high-vacuum spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscope with controllable magnetic fields for investigating epitaxial thin films82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3585986View Description Hide Description
A room-temperature ultra-high-vacuum scanning tunneling microscope for in situ scanning freshly grownepitaxial films has been developed. The core unit of the microscope, which consists of critical components including scanner and approach motors, is modular designed. This enables easy adaptation of the same microscope units to new growth systems with different sample-transfer geometries. Furthermore the core unit is designed to be fully compatible with cryogenic temperatures and high magnetic field operations. A double-stage spring suspension system with eddy current damping has been implemented to achieve ⩽5 pm z stability in a noisy environment and in the presence of an interconnected growthchamber. Both tips and samples can be quickly exchanged in situ; also a tunable external magnetic field can be introduced using a transferable permanent magnet shuttle. This allows spin-polarized tunneling with magnetically coated tips. The performance of this microscope is demonstrated by atomic-resolution imaging of surface reconstructions on wide band-gap GaN surfaces and spin-resolved experiments on antiferromagnetic Mn3N2(010) surfaces.
82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3589854View Description Hide Description
By combining a 0.3 T permanent magnet with flexible rotation and translation mechanism, a probe with a local electromagnetic shielding, several electrical units, a mobile lift, and an electric wagon, a mobile magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) system was developed for outdoor tree measurements. 2D cross-sectional images of normal and diseased branches of a pear tree were acquired for measurements of T1, T2, proton density, and apparent diffusion constant (ADC). The ADC map clearly differentiated diseased from normal branches. A whole-day measurement of the ADC map demonstrated that microscopic water flow in the normal branch changed proportionally with solar radiation. Therefore, we have concluded that our mobile MRI system is a powerful tool for studies of plants in outdoor environments.
Atomic resolution ultrafast scanning tunneling microscope with scan rate breaking the resonant frequency of a quartz tuning fork resonator82(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3585200View Description Hide Description
We present an ultra-fast scanning tunneling microscope with atomic resolution at 26 kHz scan rate which surpasses the resonant frequency of the quartztuning forkresonator used as the fast scan actuator. The main improvements employed in achieving this new record are (1) fully low voltage design (2) independent scan control and data acquisition, where the tuning fork (carrying a tip) is blindly driven to scan by a function generator with the scan voltage and tunneling current (IT) being measured as image data (this is unlike the traditional point-by-point move and measure method where data acquisition and scan control are switched many times).