It has long been assumed by researchers that using electron beam radiation to study nanostructures would cause the crystals to degrade. In research published in Nature Communications, MSI PI Andre Mkhoyan (professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) and colleagues have discovered that an electron beam irradiating a crystal of titanium dioxide (TiO2) caused the naturally occurring cracks in the crystal to fill in. This exciting finding may allow engineers to create novel nanostructures atom-by-atom; nanomaterials are widely used in electronics manufacturing. The authors used MATLAB on MSI’s supercomputers for the calculations for this research.
An article about this paper appears on the College of Science and Engineering website: Surprising discovery shows electronic beam radiation can repair nanostructures. The paper can be read on the journal website: Silu Guo, Hwanhui Sun, Sreejith Nair, Bharat Jalan, K. Andre Mkhoyan. Mending cracks atom-by-atom in rutile TiO2 with electron beam radiolysis. Nature Communications 14: 6005 (2023). doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-41781-x.
The Mkhoyan group uses MSI for computational simulations that are combined with experiments in order to provide new insights into the atomic and electronic structures of technologically important materials.
Image description: Rutile IrO2/TiO2 sample with cracks restructuring under STEM beam. A set of HAADF-STEM images showing formation of TiO2 crystal in the crack bridging two sides with increase of electron doses. Scale bar is 3 nm. Image and description adapted from S. Guo, et al. Nature Communications 14: 6005 (2023). doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-41781-x. Image created by Mkhoyan Group.
posted on November 8, 2023