35 research outputs found

    Self-assembly and electron-beam-induced direct etching of suspended graphene nanostructures

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    We report on suspended single-layer graphene deposition by a transfer-printing approach based on polydimethylsiloxane stamps. The transfer printing method allows the exfoliation of graphite flakes from a bulk graphite sample and their residue-free deposition on a silicon dioxide substrate. This deposition system creates a blistered graphene surface due to strain induced by the transfer process itself. Single-layer-graphene deposition and its "blistering" on the substrate are demonstrated by a combination of Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and atomic-force microscopy measurements. Finally, we demonstrate that blister-like suspended graphene are self-supporting single-layer structures and can be flattened by employing a spatially-resolved direct-lithography technique based on electron-beam induced etching.Comment: 17 pages, 5 figure

    Electrostatic force microscopy and potentiometry of realistic nanostructured systems

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    We investigate the dependency of electrostatic interaction forces on applied potentials in Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM) as well as in related local potentiometry techniques like Kelvin Probe Microscopy (KPM). The approximated expression of electrostatic interaction between two conductors, usually employed in EFM and KPM, may loose its validity when probe-sample distance is not very small, as often realized when realistic nanostructured systems with complex topography are investigated. In such conditions, electrostatic interaction does not depend solely on the potential difference between probe and sample, but instead it may depend on the bias applied to each conductor. For instance, electrostatic force can change from repulsive to attractive for certain ranges of applied potentials and probe-sample distances, and this fact cannot be accounted for by approximated models. We propose a general capacitance model, even applicable to more than two conductors, considering values of potentials applied to each of the conductors to determine the resulting forces and force gradients, being able to account for the above phenomenon as well as to describe interactions at larger distances. Results from numerical simulations and experiments on metal stripe electrodes and semiconductor nanowires supporting such scenario in typical regimes of EFM investigations are presented, evidencing the importance of a more rigorous modelling for EFM data interpretation. Furthermore, physical meaning of Kelvin potential as used in KPM applications can also be clarified by means of the reported formalism.Comment: 20 pages, 7 figures, 1 tabl

    Revealing the atomic structure of the buffer layer between SiC(0001) and epitaxial graphene

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    On the SiC(0001) surface (the silicon face of SiC), epitaxial graphene is obtained by sublimation of Si from the substrate. The graphene film is separated from the bulk by a carbon-rich interface layer (hereafter called the buffer layer) which in part covalently binds to the substrate. Its structural and electronic properties are currently under debate. In the present work we report scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) studies of the buffer layer and of quasi-free-standing monolayer graphene (QFMLG) that is obtained by decoupling the buffer layer from the SiC(0001) substrate by means of hydrogen intercalation. Atomic resolution STM images of the buffer layer reveal that, within the periodic structural corrugation of this interfacial layer, the arrangement of atoms is topologically identical to that of graphene. After hydrogen intercalation, we show that the resulting QFMLG is relieved from the periodic corrugation and presents no detectable defect sites

    Little-Parks effect in single YBaCuO sub-micron rings

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    The properties of single submicron high-temperature superconductor (HTS) rings are investigated. The Little-Parks effect is observed and is accompanied by an anomalous behavior of the magnetic dependence of the resistance, which we ascribe to non-uniform vorticity (superfluid angular momentum) within the ring arms. This effect is linked to the peculiar HTS-relationship between the values of the coherence length and the London penetration depth.Comment: 14 pages, 3 figure

    Fluorescence lifetime microscopy unveils the supramolecular organization of liposomal Doxorubicin

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    The supramolecular organization of Doxorubicin (DOX) within the standard Doxoves® liposomal formulation (DOX®) is investigated using visible light and phasor approach to fluorescence lifetime imaging (phasor-FLIM). First, the phasor-FLIM signature of DOX® is resolved into the contribution of three co-existing fluorescent species, each with its characteristic mono-exponential lifetime, namely: crystallized DOX (DOXc, 0.2 ns), free DOX (DOXf, 1.0 ns), and DOX bound to the liposomal membrane (DOXb, 4.5 ns). Then, the exact molar fractions of the three species are determined by combining phasor-FLIM with quantitative absorption/fluorescence spectroscopy on DOXc, DOXf, and DOXb pure standards. The final picture on DOX® comprises most of the drug in the crystallized form (∼98%), with the remaining fractions divided between free (∼1.4%) and membrane-bound drug (∼0.7%). Finally, phasor-FLIM in the presence of a DOX dynamic quencher allows us to suggest that DOXf is both encapsulated and non-encapsulated, and that DOXb is present on both liposome-membrane leaflets. We argue that the present experimental protocol can be applied to the investigation of the supramolecular organization of encapsulated luminescent drugs/molecules all the way from the production phase to their state within living matter

    Terahertz confocal microscopy with a quantum cascade laser source

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    We report on the implementation of a confocal microscopy system based on a 2.9 THz quantum cascade laser source. Lateral and axial resolutions better than 70 \u3bcm and 400 \u3bcm, respectively, are achieved, with a large contrast enhancement compared to the non-confocal arrangement. The capability of resolving overlapping objects lying on different longitudinal planes is also clearly demonstrated