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"X-TIP" STRP Objectives

The "X-TIP" STRP is targeted at exploring the frontiers of knowledge by introducing new types of experimental techniques suitable for the investigation of nano-sized materials. The proposed new instrumentation, based on a combination of Local Probe Microscopies (LPM) such as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) and Scanning Near-field Optical Microscopy (SNOM) with X-Ray Spectromicroscopy (XRS), will provide chemical-specific contrast at unprecedented lateral resolution of up to 10-40 nanometers, thus overcoming existing limitations of the two (LPM and XRS) methods and opening a wide range of research opportunities and challenges.

The overall objectives of the "X-TIP" STRP are:

  • developing novel handling and control devices and instruments for future nano-technology by combining Local Probe Microscopies (STM, AFM, SNOM) with Synchrotron Radiation X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy;
  • introducing new methodologies for 3D-surface chemical mapping and for structural characterization of nanostructures by Nano-scale X-Ray Absorption Spectromicroscopy;
  • bringing together Europe's leading scientists with the purpose of creating a bridge from fundamental research into future industrial exploitation.

The proposed methodologies represent a complex approach to the problem of chemical and structural analysis at the nano-scale level and imply the integration of many different skills. As a result, we expect to deliver techniques with improved lateral resolution in respect to a microprobe. They will be of direct interest to nano-science but also to other target areas of the European Union, e.g. the fight against fraud, cultural and artistic heritage, preservation of buildings, etc.

Work packages Participants
WP1: SR-TIP-OPTIC - Alignement, monitoring and pinning of Synchrotron Radiation beam on tip (STP, AFM, SNOM) area. ESRF, OGG-INFM, LEPES, UNITN, IFN-CNR
WP2: XAS-SNOM - Element-Specific Contrast in Local Probe Microscopy via X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL) detection by optical probe in SNOM mode. GPEC, UNITN, IFN-CNR, ISSP, ESRF, UNITA
WP3: XAS-STM - Element-Specific Contrast in Local Probe Microscopy via X-ray excited photoelectrons detection by conductive tip in STM mode. OGG-INFM, ESRF, LEPES, ISSP, GPEC, UNITA
WP4: XAS-AFM - Element-Specific Contrast in Local Probe Microscopy via X-ray induced changes in capacitance by conductive tip in AFM mode. ISSP, GPEC, LEPES, ESRF, UNITA
WP5: SR-STM/AFM - in-situ combination of tip surface interaction and Synchrotron Radiation (SR): XDR-AFM. LEPES, ISSP, GPEC, ESRF, UNITA

Last updated 30/09/2011 by Alexei Kuzmin.