Scientists from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) have learned how to create detailed 3D models of two-dimensional objects. A high level of accuracy allowed them to measure pulsations, strains, and dimensional changes in chemical bonds.
Scientists explained that such a model is needed for research where a deeper understanding of the properties of materials and the ability to change or control them are required. They are confident that the experiment, the details of which can be read in the journal Nature Materials, helps to take another step in this direction.
Researchers have shown that three-dimensional maps of the atomic structure of a material are accurate to a picometric scale, which is measured in trillionths of a meter. They were able to use visualization to evaluate defects in a 2D material that could affect its electronic properties.
For such an analysis, they had to create a new technology developed on the basis of scanning transmission electron microscopy. It allows you to obtain images by measuring scattered electrons transmitted through thin samples. The team from UCLA finalized the technique and was able to create three-dimensional images, capturing the sample at different angles as it rotates.
The obtained images allowed researchers to see the three-dimensional structure of the samples with an accuracy of 4 picometers – 26 times smaller than the diameter of a hydrogen atom. This level of accuracy helped them measure pulsations, strains that distort the shape of the material, and changes in the size of chemical bonds.