Jun 14, 2012
Ground-state atomic structures of size-selected Au nanoclusters determined by electron-beam-induced transformation
Atoms on the move
Wang and Palmer (Physical Review Letters 108 245502 2012) have used the superfine beam in an aberration-corrected electron microscope first to reveal the various isomers of gold nanoclusters - and then, by prolonged illumination with the electron beam, drive the particles one by one towards their most stable, equilibrium structures.
The result is a personalised video for each particle, showing the atoms on the move towards their atomic destinations - stable configurations like the decahedron.
Apart from satisfying the desire for control, the results provide a new reference for computational models of nanostructure dynamics, down to the atom scale.