So much trouble scanning the samples.
We investigated the optimum amount of time to expose the sample to the Polonium. We found that 1 hour was about right. But still we are having trouble getting the STM to image the scan without crashing. Becky suggested we get Val to scan a sample on the AFM to get a better idea what the entire surface looked like to get parameters for scanning.
Val agreed to scan a sample. Lauren Chorny, our high school student research associate, was going to learn to use the SEM and AFM with these samples. We made her a sample of gold irradiated by Polonium. When she scanned it, instead of the craters we thought would be there, we discovered structures that rise above the surface.
This caused us to ask many more questions. What cause the blobs on the surface? Why were some larger than others? Why weren’t there craters from the alpha particles hitting the surface? Would there be more if the sample was irradiated longer? Were these caused because Gold is rather soft and can be easily melted?
Dr. Kadel suggested we try irradiating Carbon. It is more rigid and not as easy to melt. We might see craters then instead of hills.
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