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Introduction

Low energy electron diffraction (LEED) is a very powerful technique that allows for the characterization of the surface of materials. Its high surface sensitivity is due to the use of electrons with energies between 20-200 eV, which have wavelengths equal to 2.7 – 0.87 Å (comparable to the atomic spacing). Therefore, the electrons can be elastically scattered easily by the atoms in the first few layers of the sample. Its features, such as little penetration of low–energy electrons have positioned it as one of the most common techniques in surface science for the determination of the symmetry of the unit cell (qualitative analysis) and the position of the atoms in the crystal surface (quantitative analysis).

History: Davisson and Germer experiment

In 1924 Louis de Brogile postulated that all forms of matter, such as electrons, have a wave-particle nature. Three years later after this postulate, the American physicists Clinton J. Davisson and Lester H. Germer ( [link] ) proved experimentally the wave nature of electrons at Bell Labs in New York, see Figure 1. At that time, they were investigating the distribution-in-angle of the elastically scattered electrons (electrons that have suffered no loss of kinetic energy) from the (111) face of a polycrystalline nickel, material composed of many randomly oriented crystals.

Davisson and Germer
Clinton Davisson (right) and Lester Germer (left) in their laboratory, where they proved that electrons could act like waves in 1927. Author unknown, public domain.

The experiment consisted of a beam of electrons from a heated tungsten filament directed against the polycrystalline nickel and an electron detector, which was mounted on an arc to observe the electrons at different angles. During the experiment, air entered in the vacuum chamber where the nickel was, producing an oxide layer on its surface. Davisson and Clinton reduced the nickel by heating it at high temperature. They did not realize that the thermal treatment changed the polycrystalline nickel to a nearly monocrystalline nickel, material composed of many oriented crystals. When they repeated the experiment, it was a great surprise that the distribution-in-angle of the scattered electrons manifested sharp peaks at certain angles. They soon realized that these peaks were interference patterns, and, in analogy to X-ray diffraction, the arrangement of atoms and not the structure of the atoms was responsible for the pattern of the scattered electrons.

The results of Davisson and Germer were soon corroborated by George Paget Thomson, J. J. Thomson’s son. In 1937, both Davisson and Thomson were awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics for their experimental discovery of the electron diffraction by crystals. It is noteworthy that 31 years after J. J. Thomson showed that the electron is a particle, his son showed that it is also a wave.

Although the discovery of low-energy electron diffraction was in 1927, it became popular in the early 1960’s, when the advances in electronics and ultra-high vacuum technology made possible the commercial availability of LEED instruments. At the beginning, this technique was only used for qualitative characterization of surface ordering. Years later, the impact of computational technologies allowed the use of LEED for quantitative analysis of the position of atoms within a surface. This information is hidden in the energetic dependence of the diffraction spot intensities, which can be used to construct a LEED I-V curve.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Good
advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Physical methods in chemistry and nano science. OpenStax CNX. May 05, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10699/1.21
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