Terahertz microscope can resolve 40 nanometers


Terahertz near field nanoscope has 40 nanometer resolution.

Nanoscale resolution is achieved by THz field confinement at the very tip apex to within 30 nm, which is in good agreement with full electro-dynamic calculations. Imaging semiconductor transistors, we provide first evidence of 40 nm (λ/3000) spatial resolution at 2.54 THz (wavelength λ = 118 μm) and demonstrate the simultaneous THz recognition of materials and mobile carriers in a single nanodevice. Fundamentally important, we find that the mobile carrier contrast can be directly related to near-field excitation of THz-plasmons in the doped semiconductor regions. This opens the door to quantitative studies of local carrier concentration and mobility at the nanometer scale. The THz near-field response is extraordinary sensitive, providing contrast from less than 100 mobile electrons in the probed volume. Future improvements could allow for THz characterization of even single electrons or biomolecules.

Nanowerk has some more information.

This was made possible by the use of extreme THz field concentration at the sharp tip of a scanning atomic force microscope (AFM). The THz nanoscope thus breaks the diffraction barrier by a factor of 1500, and with its 40 nm resolving power matches the needs of modern nanoscience and technology.

THz illumination offers a 100-fold increased sensitivity to the conductivity of semiconducting materials when compared to infrared light. This extreme sensitivity is difficult to achieve by any other optical microscopy technique, rendering the described microscopy technique highly desirable for quality assurance and analysis of failure mechanisms in industrially produced semiconductor nanodevices.

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  1. Brian, You have provided us with an excellent starting point to analyze the attack points at which cuts in CO2 emissions can be made. I am not a fan of flex fueled vehicles, for which I see numerous and serious disadvantages. But electrifying surface transportation has real potential. If batteries or capacitors can be built with a driving range potential of several hundred miles, then the internal combustion engine should be history.

    Inter urban freight hauling should be conducted by electrified rail, which is much more energy efficient than diesel trucks.

    Oil (and natural gas)use can be eliminated as a source of industrial process heat, space heating, heat for the production of electricity, water heating, and fuel for RVs.

    The use of oil for industrial heat in refineries will be greatly curtailed over time by curtailing the demand for refined oil.

    Road paving and using oil for industrial feedstocks are not major CO2 offenders. There is no reason to limit these uses as far as I can tell.

    The problem aries are air and water born transportation, where no good substitute for oil products exist, agriculture, construction, mining, and military use.

    Of these problem areas air transportation is clearly the most problematic. High speed electrical rail can basically replace air passenger travel within the United States and Europe. International flights cannot be easily replaced, and so should be permitted.

    That leaves us with 1.5 to 2 million barrels per day to be allocated between the various problem users, which would bring us close to an 80% reduction in oil demand in for the United States, and close to a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions from oil use. This is possible by 2050.

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