Single Atom Manipulation and Control in a Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope
A single Si atom is deterministically placed and moved within a graphene lattice, with atomic-scale precision.
(a) and (b) show before and after images (filtered) of placing a single Si atom into a graphene lattice, by first creating a small hole and then sputtering Si into the defect, both by the microscope electron beam. (c)-(e): Controlled motion of a Si atom through a graphene lattice under the influence of the microscope electron beam. The yellow dot is the target location and the dotted line tracks the Si atom through time. (hi-res image)
Significance and Impact
The ability to build materials and devices atom-by-atom is a long-held dream for materials science and device fabrication. These results move us one step closer to making it a reality.
- A scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) is used to simultaneously image and manipulate matter at the atomic scale.
- A single Si atom is inserted into a deterministically created vacancy within a sheet of graphene.
- A substitutional Si atom is moved within the graphene lattice onto a predefined lattice position.
Ondrej Dyck, Songkil Kim, Sergei V. Kalinin, and Stephen Jesse, Appl. Phys. Lett. 111, 113104 (2017). DOI: 10.1063/1.4998599