Atomic Force Microscopy

Atomic force microscopy is a technique for analysing the surface of a rigid material all the way down to the level of the atom.

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Cantilever

The cantilever is the most common sensor of the force interaction in atomic force microscopy. The atomic force microscope acquires any information about a surface because of the cantilever beam mechanical deflections which are detected by an optical system.

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Fine particle

A particle smaller than about 2.5 micrometers and larger than about 0.1 micrometers in size.

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Graphene

Single sheet of trigonally bonded (sp2) carbon atoms in a hexagonal structure.

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Heterostructure

A heterojunction is the interface that occurs between two layers or regions of dissimilar crystalline semiconductors.

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Laser ablation

Preparation technique which uses a laser to vaporize a graphite target to create a carbon plume, which is the precursor for growth of amorphous carbon, diamond like carbon, carbon nanotubes, or fullerenes.

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Metamaterials

A metamaterial (or meta material) is a material which gains its properties from its structure rather than directly from its composition. A material which has unusual properties.

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Microelectromechanical Systems

Systems with dimensions in the microscale that can respond to an electric (mechanical) stimulus and generate or produce a mechanical (electric) response.

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Molecular Beem Epitaxy

Technique of growing single crystals in which beams of atoms or molecules are made to strike a single-crystalline substrate in a vacuum, giving rise to crystals whose crystallographic orientation is related to that of the substrate.

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Nano-

The SI definition, a prefix used to form decimal submultiples of the SI unit "meter", designating a factor of 10-9 denoted by the symbol "n".

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Nanoceramics

Nanoceramics/nanocomposite are defined as novel bulk materials or coating with microstructural architecture, characterized by at least one of the ceramic phases having length scale between 1 and 100 nm. The major drive for wider interest in nanoceramics and its composites has been the fact that one can potentially achieve better and some unusual material properties by manipulating length scale in the nano range.

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Nanoclusters

Clusters and crystals at the nanometer scale offer unique electrical, optical, and magnetic properties that are related to their quantum size effect. A nanocluster could contain several tens to thousands of atoms or molecules, and the formation of well-ordered and uniform size metal or semiconductor nanoclusters has been visualized by scanning tunneling microscopy.

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Nanocomposites

Polymer/inorganic nanocomposites are composed of two or more physically distinct components with one or more average dimensions smaller than 100nm. From the structural point of view, the role of inorganic filler, usually as particles or fibres, is to provide intrinsic strength and stiffness while the polymer matrix can adhere to and bind the inorganic component so that forces applied to the composite are transmitted evenly to the filler.

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Nanocrystals

Molecular-sized solids formed with a repeating, 3D pattern of atoms or molecules with an equal distance between each part. Nanocrystals are aggregates of anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of atoms that combine into a crystalline form of matter known as a 'cluster'. Typically around 10nm in diameter, nanocrystals are larger than molecules but smaller than bulk solids and therefore frequently exhibit physical and chemical properties somewhere in-between. Nanocrystals are believed to have potential in optical electronics because of their ability to change the wavelength of light.

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Nanofibers

Nanofibers are fibers measured in nanometers. The size of nanofibers is just a 3 - 4 atoms thick with diameters of 50 - 500nm.

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