Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What lies beneath: Mapping hidden nanostructures within materials, and perhaps cells

Date:
February 10, 2012
Source:
RIKEN
Summary:
A new method to map nanostructures within materials may lead to biological imaging of the internal organization of cells.

A new method to map nanostructures within materials may lead to biological imaging of the internal organization of cells.

The ability to diagnose and predict the properties of materials is vital, particularly in the expanding field of nanotechnology. Electron and atom-probe microscopy can categorize atoms in thin sheets of material, and in small areas of thicker samples, but it has proven far more difficult to map the constituents of nanostructures inside large, thick objects. X-rays—the most common imaging tool for hard biological materials such as bones—have a limited focal-spot size, so they cannot focus on nanoscale objects.

Now, Yukio Takahashi and colleagues at Osaka University, together with researchers at Nagoya University and the RIKEN SPring-8 center in Hyogo, have succeeded for the first time in producing two-dimensional images of nanostructures encased in thick materials on a large scale1. Their work was possible because they designed a new x-ray diffraction microscopy system that does not require a lens.

“The main challenges in this work were to realize x-ray diffraction microscopy with a high resolution and a large field of view, then extend it to element-specific imaging,” Takahashi explains. “We achieved this by establishing a scanning x-ray diffraction imaging technique called x-ray ptychography.”

Ptychography involves taking images of an object that overlap with one another on a series of coinciding lattice points. The researchers combined this technique with x-rays, and included a system to compensate for the drifting of optics during imaging. Takahashi and his colleagues focused the x-rays using so-called ‘Kirkpatrick–Baez mirrors’ that allowed them to collect high-quality diffraction data.

Their system monitors the changes in the diffraction of x-rays at two different energies. The degree of phase difference between the two x-ray energies changes significantly at the absorption edge of the target element. This is related to the atomic number of the element, meaning that the elements present in the material can be identified. To verify that their system works, the researchers deposited gold/silver nanoparticles around 200 nanometers in size on a silicon nitride membrane, and produced high-resolution and large-scale images of the particles. The resolutions were better than 10 nanometers.

“One of the practical applications [of this technique] in future is the possible observation of cells,” explains Takahashi. “The shape of a whole cell and the spatial distribution of [its] organelles could be three-dimensionally visualized at 10 nanometer resolution—to provide key insights into the organization inside cells. We hope to see this technique being used in biological and materials science in future.”

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the SR Imaging Instrumentation Unit, RIKEN SPring-8 Center


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RIKEN. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yukio Takahashi, Akihiro Suzuki, Nobuyuki Zettsu, Yoshiki Kohmura, Kazuto Yamauchi, Tetsuya Ishikawa. Multiscale element mapping of buried structures by ptychographic x-ray diffraction microscopy using anomalous scattering. Applied Physics Letters, 2011; 99 (13): 131905 DOI: 10.1063/1.3644396

Cite This Page:

RIKEN. "What lies beneath: Mapping hidden nanostructures within materials, and perhaps cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210104748.htm>.
RIKEN. (2012, February 10). What lies beneath: Mapping hidden nanostructures within materials, and perhaps cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210104748.htm
RIKEN. "What lies beneath: Mapping hidden nanostructures within materials, and perhaps cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210104748.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Lithium Battery 'Holy Grail' Could Provide 4 Times The Power

Newsy (July 28, 2014) Stanford University published its findings for a "pure" lithium ion battery that could have our everyday devices and electric cars running longer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins