Presentation Ian McNulty

Progress in Nanoscience with the CNM/APS Hard X-ray Nanoprobe

Ian McNulty – Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory


The CNM/APS Hard X-ray Nanoprobe began operation in 2007 and hosts about 24 user teams and 10 staff experiments annually. We recently upgraded the Nanoprobe with a new interferometric system with less than 10 nm/h drift, a sample stage enabling integrated scanning diffraction, fluorescence, and full-field experiments, a temperature controlled stage with 100-600K range, sample cells for in-situ electrical field and fluid flow, and new zone plate optics. This past year we added a diamond phase retarder and variable magnetic field capability for resonant experiments with circularly polarized hard x-rays.

The combination of nanofocusing with interferometric stabilization and precise control over the sample environment enables highly sensitive measurements of local ordering and chemistry. We are using the Nanoprobe to map elemental distributions in nanoparticles and biological cells at ~30 nm resolution, and to quantify lattice strain and tilt in ferroelectric thin films and strain fields in semiconductor interfaces below 10 nm by coherent diffraction methods.

Integration of scanning and nano-tomography data is enabling 3D investigation of electrode degradation in lithium ion batteries, alloying processes in solder melts, and toxic contaminants in fly ash particles. We are also developing a novel approach to imaging single molecules and atoms, synchrotron x-ray scanning tunneling microscopy, that offers the unparalleled resolution of STM coupled with chemical and spin sensitivity of x-rays. This talk covers recent progress and experimental results.