„Weighing" atoms with electrons


The chemical properties of atoms depend on the number of protons in their nuclei, placing them into the periodic table. However, even chemically identical atoms can have different masses – these variants are called isotopes.

Although techniques to measure such mass differences exist, these have either not revealed where they are in a sample, or have required dedicated instrumentation and laborious sample preparation. Publishing in the prestigious open access journal Nature Communications, researchers at the University of Vienna report a new way for "weighing" atoms by atomic-resolution imaging of graphene, the one-atom-thick sheet of carbon.

For more information see http://dim.univie.ac.at/news/