Posted: April 17, 2008

Korean scientists make 0.1-nanometer-level reflectometer device

(Nanowerk News) Korean scientists on Tuesday (Apr. 15) said they have developed a 0.1-nanometer-level reflectometer (REF-H) that can help carry out detailed analysis of viruses, cell membranes and industrial materials.
The reflectometer, developed jointly by state-run Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) and Sogang University in Seoul, uses neutron beams created by atomic reactors and state-of-the-art optical equipment to get super fine images of objects. A nanometer is equivalent to one-billionth of a meter.
"Due to the difficulty involved and need to harness the power of atomic reactors with hightech optics, filters and detectors, there are only a few such apparatuses in the world," said Lee Chang-hee, the senior KAERI researcher in charge of the project said.
He said the reflectometer has better penetrating properties than regular X-rays and electronic microscopes so it can be used to check solid objects including silicon and very fragile biological and tissue samples.
The expert said the new device also does not require vacuum chambers that are used by electronic microscopes.
Developers said that REF-H open new horizons for researchers wanting to observe the real-time reaction of living organisms to chemicals, various nano materials, and help create new parts for semiconductors, fuel cells, solar panels, filters and check to see how viruses like AIDS enter the human body.
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