UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006 Page: 28
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ARE IN DEMAND AT UNT .
jaames nap / les
A new array of high-powered microscopes at the University of North Texas affords
researchers a combination of tools nearly unique in the world.
The microscopes were acquired by UNT's Electron and Ion Microscopy Laboratory
through the university's research initiative known as the Advanced Research and
Technology Institute. Through the institute, UNT is able to bring in large-ticket research
equipment, says Brian Gorman, an assistant professor in the Department of Materials
Science and Engineering and the lab's director. Established in 2005 within the depart-
ment, the lab is located at the UNT Research Park about four miles north of the main
The three brightest stars in this stellar array of world-class instruments are a
dual-beam focused ion beam/scanning electron microscope (FIB/SEM), an analytical
high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM) and a local electrode
atom probe (LEAP). Only Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee offers the
same lineup of instruments.
The LEAP, made by Imago Scientific Instruments, is described as a three-dimen-
sional atom probe capable of tomographic characterization (or, imaging by sections of a
specimen) at the atomic scale. In other words, the LEAP can map the positions of atoms
in a sample in three dimensions. The resulting images, says Gorman, "tell us what the
atoms are, what the atoms are made of and exactly where they are."
"The LEAP can tell us the ultimate composition of a material," he continues. "We
may already know what the structure looks like, but the LEAP can lead us to exactly what
it's made of - even if we're looking for parts per million and almost parts per billion."
The HRTEM, made by FEI Co., delivers a resolution of one angstrom, one-tenth of
a nanometer. (A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.)
In addition to Brian Gorman, two
UNT scientists using the Electron and
Microscopy Laboratory's microscopes
to develop new techniques for character-
izing materials are Rajarshi Banerjee and
Michael J. Kaufman. Both are conducting
Banerjee, an associate professor
in the Department of Materials Science
and Engineering, studies the effects of
reduced system dimensions on the
crystal structure and properties of
metallic thin films and multilayers.
Examples of thin films include the top
metallic layer on a microchip and the
coating on a magnetic disk. Multilayers
are made up of a "stack" of thin films.
Kaufman, professor and chair
of the department, is studying the
relationship of structures, properties
and processing abilities in metallic
materials. The microscopes enable him
to look at microstructural changes in
metals and how these affect the metals'
characteristics after processing.
Brian Gorman, coio of U i i's Electon anud o v scopy aj il y
ith the lab's laser-pulsed local electrode atom probe. The LEAP
system can map the positions of a sample's atoms in three dimensions.
28 i 2006 CNT IESeARCH
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University of North Texas. UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006, periodical, 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29777/m1/28/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.