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I have an idea

  1. Apr 11, 2010 #1
    for some reason i cant explain i am horrible with words... so if this is the worst composition of the English language devised by man, please forgive me. ps, be glad i have a spell check >_>

    late one night i was out on the balcony and something occurred to me. particle accelerators could be used to make small things. now hear me out. your old CRT TV that is sitting in your garage is a prime example.
    instead of accelerating atoms, slow them down to hit a target with precision. in effect it is possible to "stack" atoms like legos to make whatever.
    now back in high school i only heard of a machine that could layer atoms, but this is one at a time... sort of.
    now i have some problems:
    how do you confirm an atom has landed where you want it? you could make a sudo-error check, but it would have to be able to scan/see very small. i looked into it and the only thing i can find that is capable of "seeing" that small is a TEM, and from what i read it can only observe columns of atoms.
    one at a time? well isolating atoms one at a time is a pain, but pinching them down to a single file line isn't as hard. Penning traps use magnetic fields to encase charged particles, so its plausible to assume that you could squeeze a mass of ions into a 1 dimensional stream. no?
    referring back to the TV again: its plausible that you can assemble a decelerator/TEM hybrid that can work at high speeds, your TV does it all the time.... kinda. also, 3d printers go one layer at a time, similar to flashing pictures on the screen.

    aaaand im done... thoughts?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2010 #2

    ZapperZ

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    Your first mistake is thinking that your old CRT tube accelerate atoms. It doesn't. It only accelerates electrons.

    A TEM (or even SEM) operates under slightly different premise because it looks at the secondary electron emission from the material that one is examining.

    Zz.
     
  4. Apr 11, 2010 #3
    okay, i am wrong about it accelerating atoms, but it does propel charged objects towards a target at high speeds with precision. yes?
     
  5. Apr 11, 2010 #4

    ZapperZ

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    It propels ELECTRONS.

    Not a lot of precision with the old CRT tube. In most cases, it only cares that the energy is enough for the screen to emit light via florescence. For a particle accelerator, this is rather crude.

    Zz.
     
  6. Apr 11, 2010 #5
    you're right about it being not precise, but you get the concept... right?
    if not, ill line em up.

    a crt has an electron emitter (-), accelerators can use charged ions(-).
    crt's use 2 or more bending magnets to direct charged particle streams to a spicific point on the screen at a given time. linear accelerators use multiple bending magnets to guide a particle stream to a stationary target (sometimes).
    the accelerator part doesn't matter in the main idea because im not trying to accelerate anything... ya dig?
     
  7. Apr 11, 2010 #6

    ZapperZ

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    I work at a particle accelerator facility.

    Zz.
     
  8. Apr 11, 2010 #7
    well thats awesome. im glad you have the ability to access tools i would only dream of.

    is the concept correct?
     
  9. Apr 11, 2010 #8

    ZapperZ

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    Correct but incomplete.

    There are different magnet geometries in a particle accelerators, not just bending magnet. For example, there are quadrupoles or different types of solenoids to "focus" the beam. All particle beams have something called "emittance", and if such focusing magnets are not present, the beam will expand and hit the beam pipe.

    I really am not sure what you're getting at here.

    Zz.
     
  10. Apr 11, 2010 #9
    the goal is to design something that would stack atoms in uniform to better ease the advance of nanotechnology. what im trying to ask is would it be plausible to use bending magnets, like a TV or an accelerator does, and a TEM (as a way to check if you have a hit or miss) to do so. obviously i wouldn't attempt to use a tv and a TEM to conduct experiments of this nature. i was trying to use general working ideas to illustrate more effectively.
    accelerating atoms is not where i was going, if anything i want to slow down the particle beam so the individual atoms don't hit the target and bounce away.

    savy?
     
  11. Apr 11, 2010 #10

    ZapperZ

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    No, a bit misguided, yes.

    The manipulation of atoms on a surface has been done using STM. To use a particle accelerator is rather odd considering that an atom crashing into a surface is a rather destructive event. In other words, we already have better ways of doing that.

    Zz.
     
  12. Apr 11, 2010 #11
    well wouldn't a STM be bad seeing as you could potentially "move" the atom you just placed? could you charge the target positivly so as to cause the atoms being projected to "stick"?
     
  13. Apr 11, 2010 #12

    SpectraCat

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    Even better, you can use chemistry to bond the atoms together in the desired fashion ... this has been done. However, this is a massively effort-intensive way to make molecules or nanostructrures ... it is way cool though! Saw-Wai Hla at Ohio University has some neat examples on his website herehttp://www.phy.ohiou.edu/~hla/movies.html" [Broken]. The second paper listed from the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology is actually pretty accessible even for an interested layman (I think). (The pdf is linked from that site for easy access).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. Apr 11, 2010 #13
    sweet, ty for the link. do you know if there is any further advances? from what it appears, they seem to be just playing with atoms o_O not making anything but maybe switches.
     
  15. Apr 11, 2010 #14

    Cthugha

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    Generally speaking any method of depositing atoms somewhere in some ordered manner will run into the problem of producing strain (most probably by lattice mismatch) as soon as you have more than one kind of material present. The standard method to grow nanostructures is molecular beam epitaxy. I doubt that bending magnets have any chance of performing better than MBE (combined with additional postprocessing and etching), especially in terms of positioning neutral atoms.
     
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