Scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) have published amazing images of the microstructure of a substance obtained using 4D-STEM technology. It is based on the work of an electron microscope of a new, gentle type, the effect of which does not lead to the destruction of the material under study. This is a breakthrough in science that opens up surreal pictures of the microcosm.
The use of electron microscopes to study matter at the atomic level has a fundamental limitation - only substances with a strong atomic lattice can be studied in this way. When using soft, pliable materials, there is a risk of their destruction by electron beams, so scientists were previously forced to use X-ray microscopes for this. The discovery of American physicists could change everything.
In one study, scientists used 4D-STEM to analyze metallic glass with unpredictable structures. This made it possible to identify weak points in it, the impact on which would lead to the rapid destruction of the material. In another experiment, using 4D-STEM, changes in the structure of a semiconductor were studied before and after the introduction of a technological additive that changes its performance properties.
According to the authors of the development, 4D-STEM will allow you to look deep into a variety of substances. And to draw up molecular and then atomic maps of even those materials that are too sensitive to external influences, which made it difficult to study them earlier.