Volume 92 Issue 29 | p. 29 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 21, 2014

Atom Manipulation Crosses New Threshold

Researchers drag ions over insulating surface at room temperature, assemble them into Swiss icon
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Nano SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: atomic manipulation, atoms, ions, insulator, Swiss cross, atomic-scale devices

In a teeny tiny display of patriotism, a team led by researchers at the University of Basel has created the world’s smallest Swiss national flag out of ions (Nat. Commun. 2014, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5403). To generate the flag’s iconic cross, the scientists used the tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) to pick up bromine ions scattered across a sodium chloride surface and move them one . . .

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