New Technique Reveals Structure of Films With High Resolution

Scientists have developed and tested a new imaging technique that reveals the atomic structure of thin films with extremely high resolution. For the first time, the technique has shown very precisely how the atoms of the first layers of a film rearrange under the action of the substrate on which the film is grown. Thin films are currently used in technologies including electronic chips, coatings, and magnetic recording heads. To improve the properties of these materials and create even thinner structures ? such as smaller electronic chips ? scientists are now trying to understand how the films interact with the substrate on which they are grown.