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Review Of Scientific Instruments

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Reflection (Optics), Atoms, Neutral beams


Scanning surfaces using a beam of noncharged atoms or molecules allows for especially nondestructive and low-energy surface imaging, with the potential to obtain new information about surfaces that cannot be easily obtained otherwise. We have developed a new approach, operating with the sample at a close working distance from an aperture, the need for optics to focus the beam is obviated. Compared to more complex approaches, the theoretical performance has no other disadvantage than the short working distance. Resolution of 1.5 μm has been achieved, and submicron resolution appears to be practical. Construction of the microscope and results are presented, including first images done in reflection mode, theory for optimization of the design and avenues for future improvement.


This is the publisher's final pdf. Article appears in Review of Scientific Instruments ( and copyrighted (2011) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

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