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Element-Selective Single Atom Imaging

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Science  22 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5500, pp. 2280-2282
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5500.2280

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Abstract

Electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) is widely used to identify elemental compositions of materials studied by microscopy. We demonstrate that the sensitivity and spatial resolution of EELS can be extended to the single-atom limit. A chemical map for gadolinium (Gd) clearly reveals the distribution of Gd atoms inside a single chain of metallofullerene molecules (Gd@C82) generated within a single-wall carbon nanotube. This characterization technique thus provides the “eyes” to see and identify individual atoms in nanostructures. It is likely to find broad application in nanoscale science and technology research.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: suenaga{at}meijo-u.ac.jp

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