Directing Matter with Ions

Directing Matter with Ions

Scientific Achievement
(a) Schematic of a liquid cell for the helium ion microscope. (b) Evolution of the platinum nanoparticles in time, as they turn into solid from liquid precursor; precipitated by Helium ions. (hi-res image)

Helium ions are used to fabricate highly pure platinum structures in liquid, with sizes to below 15-nanometers – smaller than by other direct-write technique.

Significance and Impact

Making nanoscale, highly pure, metallic structures of arbitrary shape directly in liquid opens opportunities for applications in semiconductors, medicine, and numerous energy technologies.

Research Details

–  Helium ion microscopy with a liquid cell sample stage was used to grow 3D platinum nanostructures out of a platinum solution.
–  The mechanism making this level of control and precision were made possible by data analysis, and simulations; used to understand the electron interactions between ions, solids, and liquids.
A. V. Levlev, J. Jakowski, M. J. Burch, V. Iberi, H. Hysmith, D. C. Joy, B. G. Sumpter, A. Belianinov, R. R. Unocic, and O.S . Ovchinnikova, "Building with ions: towards direct write of platinum nanostructures using in situ liquid cell helium ion microscopy," Nanoscale 9, 12949 (2017).  DOI: 10.1039/C7NR04417H

CNMS Researchers