The corral is an artificial structure created from 48 iron atoms (the sharp peaks) on a copper surface. The wave patterns in this scanning tunneling microscope image are formed by copper electrons confined by the iron atoms.
Don Eigler and colleagues created this structure in 1993 by using the tip of a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to position iron atoms on a copper surface, creating an electron-trapping barrier. This was the first successful attempt at manipulating individual atoms and led to the development of new techniques for nanoscale construction.
• SIZE: The radius of the corral is about 7 nm.
• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning tunneling microscope
- Nanometer-sized things are very small, and often behave differently than larger things do.
- Scientists and engineers have formed the interdisciplinary field of nanotechnology by investigating properties and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.
- Nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanoengineering lead to new knowledge and innovations that weren't possible before.
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