Analysis and Function Elucidation of Fine Clusters and Defects in Materials Invisible by Electron Microscopy

Features and Uniqueness
  • It is well known that nano-scale impurity/solute clusters, defects, defect clusters and their complexes affect the mechanical and electrical properties in materials. However, it is very difficult to observe these objects even by state-of-the-art electron microscopes. We overcome the difficulty by employing noble two techniques: laser three-dimensional atom probe (3D-AP) technique and positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS). Laser 3D-AP can map out each atom in various materials (metals, semiconductors, insulators) in three-dimensional real space with nearly atomic scale resolution. PAS can detect vacancy-type defects and defect-impurity complexes very sensitively.
Practical Application

By combining these methods, we are going to reveal the functions of the fine impurity clusters and defects to the materials: developments of new nano-structured materials, the mechanism of degradation of aged structural materials, the fall in the yield of semiconductor device production, and developments of quantum devices etc.



Institute for Materials Research

Yasuyoshi Nagai, Professor