Argonne National Laboratory Center for Nanoscale Materials U.S. Department of Energy

Amanda Petford-LongFall is definitely in the air as I write this note to you, and I am reflecting on the very busy summer that the CNM has enjoyed. As always, we have welcomed a large number of users to our facilities, and we have also hosted a number of visits from diverse groups with interests both in our scientific capabilities and in our position as a scientific user facility. In mid-June, we partnered with the NanoBusiness Alliance and the Argonne Division of Educational Programs to host a nanoscience "boot camp" for 25 high school students from Illinois, North Carolina, and Colorado, who spent a week involved in demonstrations, hands-on experiments, and lectures. In August, we hosted tours by attendees at the DOE Graduate Student Conference, followed the next day by a group from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. As always, I am very grateful to CNM staff who found time in their busy schedules to help out with these very important outreach activities.

The most recent Call for Proposals closed on July 9 with 107 proposal submissions, of which 82 were allocated time. We look forward to welcoming returning and new users over the next few months as the allocated projects get underway. We also extend our gratitude to all who responded to the recent query for survey responses and publication citations – this information is critical to metrics for future funding and our long-term viability.

In addition to the new staff scientists whom we have welcomed to CNM this year, I would like to introduce three recent staff hires who join us in support roles: Laurie Eichberger is the division secretary, Mark Quesinberry is a technician on our facilities maintenance team, and Scott Massow is the new assistant facilities manager. User interactions are mainly with our User Office and with the scientific staff, but our support staff work exceptionally hard to keep CNM operational at a very high level and all that they do for the facility is greatly appreciated.

The state-of-the-art facilities at the CNM continue to grow and I hope that you will continue to monitor our web site for the latest additions. We have just installed one of the new AJA sputter deposition systems; the two-color near-infrared transient absorption system and the inductively coupled PECVD system (funded by ARRA) are being installed, and a gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy system is now fully operational.

I hope that you will enjoy reading the articles in this issue of the CNM Newsletter, and as always we look forward to welcoming you to CNM.

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Call for Proposals Deadline: October 29, 2010

The system is now open for submissions. We look forward to the possibility of hosting your exciting and innovative nanoscience and nanotechnology projects. (More >>)

CNM Workshop October 22-23, 2010

CNM is hosting a workshop and training course on "Applications of Raman Microscopy to Nanoscience" on October 22-23. One day of invited scientific presentations includes keynote lectures and nanoscale materials, nanoscale devices, and nanotechnology projects advanced by exploiting Raman spectroscopy at all five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers. The program also includes a half-day short course on the CNM Raman instrumentation. At this time, the short course is sold out and the workshop has only a few spots available. (More >>)

CNM Users Meeting May 2-5, 2011

The next CNM Users Meeting will be held in conjunction with Argonne Users Week, May 2-5, 2011. The program will be comprised of keynote and plenary science lectures, scientific focus sessions, facility status updates and tours, poster sessions, a vendor expo, short courses, and social events. The Advanced Photon Source and Electron Microscopy Center will also participate in this event.

NSRC Workshop on Theory and Modeling

A two-day workshop focused on the theory, modeling, visualization, and simulation efforts at all five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers will take place October 14-15, 2010, near the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies in New Mexico. The main co-organizer is Gary Grest, and the CNM local co-organizer is Stephen Gray. (More >>)

User Notes

The CNM Users' Executive Committee acts as the liaison between the CNM user community and CNM management. One example of input you can provide to them at any time is suggestions for future workshops or focus session topics. Any suggestions can also be sent to the CNM User Office.

Acknowledgment of the use of DOE user facilities such as the CNM in scientific publications and technical presentations is critical to their future sustainability. Review the guidance here.

We are excited to chronicle the scientific advancements of CNM's users by your User Activity Reports. Since time is becoming more competitive, completion of reports on past projects is now required for consideration of new proposals.

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User Research

Nanofountain Probe for the Delivery of Bio- and Nanomaterials

Tools for delivering small amounts of material — on the order of picoliters or less — onto surfaces at precise locations are relevant in the fabrication of nanoelectronic and nanoelectromechanical devices (NEMS), as well as proteomics studies and biological assays for disease detection. Users from Professor Horacio Espinosa's group at Northwestern University have exploited resources in the Nanofabrication & Devices Group to fabricate nanofountain probes, silicon wafer-based AFM chips with linear arrays of cantilevered probe tips. The nanofountain probe functions as a miniaturized fountain pen to deliver materials with sub-100-nm precision. The liquid material (the “ink”) is contained in an on-chip reservoir and flows through a series of integrated microchannels to an apertured dispensing tip.

reservoir and channel system

Reservoir and channel system; current work focuses on improved tip geometry and uniformity to push the patterning resolution to the 10-nm regime. Lithography and patterning steps were performed at CNM. The scale bar is 50 microns.

Superparamagnetic Gold Nanoshells with Tunable Optical Properties

A solution-phase process has been developed by CNM users from the University of California at Riverside, working collaboratively with the Nanophotonics Group, for synthesizing stable multifunctional colloidal particles composed of a superparamagnetic Fe3O4 core, a gold nanoshell, and a mesoporous silica outer layer. The unique porous silica layer is produced by a surface-protected etching process. By tuning the pore structure of the silica networks through etching, the shape and size of the gold nanoparticles can be controlled during the seeded growth, as well as their interparticle plasmon coupling. Controllable interparticle coupling enables “hot spots” for surface enhanced Raman scattering. The inclusion of responsive superparamagnetic Fe3O4 cores broadens the applications to include magnetically guided delivery and magnetic resonance imaging. The evolution from gold seeds to complete shells, and the corresponding change in plasmon bands, can be precisely controlled by the number of growth cycles and silica shell porosity.

Gold lNanoshells
Gold Nanoshells

TEM images showing the evolution of gold nanoshells after 12 cycles of seeded growth (Q. Zhang et al., Adv. Mater., 22, 1905, 2010)

Probing a complex oxide interface directly

A novel way to directly detect the electronic properties at a complex oxide interface has been demonstrated by users from Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source working collaboratively with researchers in the Electronic & Magnetic Materials Devices Group. While powerful spatially resolved tools exist for visualizing the chemical and magnetic structure of an interface, direct observation of electronic behavior across the interface presents a major experimental challenge. The scientists harnessed the high sensitivity to electronic local density of states (LDOS) of cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (XSTM/S) to visualize electronic properties at the interface between colossal magnetoresistant manganite La2/3Ca1/3MnO33. By extending XSTM/S to the interface, they mapped the LDOS across the boundary, unambiguously visualizing the interface by the location of the valence band, and elucidated the fundamental issue of band alignment at a complex oxide heterointerface.

Complex oxide interface

Electronic properties have been measured as function of the distance to the interface between La2/3Ca1/3MnO3 and Nb-doped SrTiO3 (T.Y. Chien et al., Phys. Rev. B, 82, 041101(R) 2010)

Two-Color Transmission Absorption and Emission Spectrometer

A new two-color amplified femtosecond (fs) laser has been installed and brought up to full operation in the Nanophotonics laser suite. The system makes time-resolved absorption with 100-fs time resolution, over nanosecond time windows, straightforward. Dual computer-controlled, white-light seeded optical parametric amplifiers offer independent wavelength tunability over a wide range at the touch of a button, and enable two- and three-pulse experiments with high signal-to-noise ratios. The system features sample temperature control down to liquid helium temperatures and time-resolved photoemission capabilities as well.

Visible and near-to-mid infrared fluorimetry rounds out the capabilities present on the system. Changes in absorption as small as hundreds of micro-OD (optical density units) are routinely achievable with this system in its current state. These features combine to offer a powerful capability for measuring electron transfer and energy transfer events on ultrafast timescales. Contact Gary Wiederrecht or Richard Schaller of the Nanophotonics Group for more information.

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Gold Bipyramids

Time-resolved spectroscopy of gold bipyramids showing coherence of plasmon-induced phonon vibrations (Pelton et al., Nature Nano, 4, 492, 2009)

Gold Bipyramids

TEM image of gold pyrimidal nanoparticles

2010 Argonne Fellows

In June 2010, Argonne National Laboratory named scientists Amanda Petford-Long (left) and Orlando Auciello (center) as Distinguished Fellows, the Laboratory’s highest scientific and engineering rank. The Argonne Distinguished Fellow title is comparable in stature to an endowed chair at a top-ranked university and recognizes exceptional contributions in a person's field. The rank is given for sustained outstanding scientific and engineering research and can also be associated with outstanding technical leadership of major, complex, high-priority projects. (More >>)

Alexandra Imre

Alexandra Joshi-Imre (staff scientist in the Nanofabrication & Devices Group, left) received an Outstanding ACTS (Academies Creating Teacher Scientists) Research Mentor Award for 2009. As a mentor for Cynthia Kessel (right). Dr. Imre was a very thorough and patient teacher for training on the FIB instrument in CNM's nanofabrication cleanroom. She was recognized as a teacher's teacher establishing a perfect balance between technique and theory, independent exercise, and guided instruction, resulting in a full understanding and an effective skill set for a very complex instrument, all within a short period of time.

Nanoscience Student Collective

In June 2010, the NanoBusiness Alliance partnered with CNM and Argonne's Division of Educational Programs to better prepare high school juniors and seniors pursuing science and engineering careers. Named the Nanoscience High School Talent Fellowship, 25 extremely talented students were selected in a competition for an intensive one-week program. Kathleen Carrado Gregar started the week with an introduction to nanoscience. Nathan Guisinger taught students about STM and AFM, while Elena Shevchenko demonstrated self-assembly techniques, and Elena Rozhkova and Chris Fry presented peptide synthesis. Students synthesized gold nanoparticles with Galyna Krylova, Daniel Lopez discussed MEMS/NEMS, and Dave Czaplewski gave a tour of the cleanroom nanofabrication facility. (More >>)

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