AFM of metallic nano-particles and nano-structures in heavily irradiated NaCl
Den Hartog, HW
mesheuropmc: technology, industry, and agriculture
AFM investigations are reported for heavily, electron irradiated NaCl crystals in ultra high vacuum (UHV) in the non-contact mode-with an UHV AFM/STM Omicron system. To avoid chemical reactions between the radiolytic Na and oxygen and water, the irradiated samples were cleaved and prepared for the experiments in UHV At the surface of freshly cleaved samples, we have observed sodium nano-precipitates with shapes, which depend on the irradiation dose and the volume fraction of the radiolytic Na. It appears that the nano-structures consist of (i) isolated nano-particles, (ii) more or less random aggregates of these particles, (iii) fractally shaped networks and (iv) "fabrics" consisting of bundles of Quasi-1D arrays forming polymeric networks of nano-particles. Almost independent of the concentration of the metallic Na in the samples the size of the individual nanoparticles is in the range 1-3 nm. Our new AFM results are fully in line with our CESR and previous Raman scattering results.