Highlights

Susi, T., Meyer, J.C., Kotakoski, J., Reshaping low-dimensional materials down to the atomic level with electron irradiation, Ultramicroscopy 180, 163-172 (2017). doi:10.1016/ j.ultramic.2017.03.005

Susi, T.et al.Silicon–Carbon Bond Inversions Driven by 60-keV Electrons in Graphene, Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 115501 (2014) doi: 10.1103/
PhysRevLett.113.115501

Susi, T.et al.Atomistic Description of Electron Beam Damage in Nitrogen-Doped Graphene and Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes, ACS Nano 6, 8837-8846 (2012). doi: 10.1021/nn303944f

Manipulating individual atoms

Electrons are fundamentally different to light as a microscopy probe since they carry significant momentum and thus can case changes in the atomic structure. This can be used to manipulate materials on the atomic scale using the Ångström-sized electron probe of a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM).

A silicon atom embedded in the graphene lattice shows bright in the STEM MAADF scattering contrast. While imaging the area, the silicon atom "jumps" to the next lattice site, with no atoms lost from the structure. The mechanism is explained by atomistic simulations which reveal the complex out-of-plane dynamics responsible for the Si-C bond inversion.

A silicon atom embedded in the graphene lattice shows bright in the STEM MAADF scattering contrast. While imaging the area, the silicon atom "jumps" to the next lattice site, with no atoms lost from the structure. The mechanism is explained by atomistic simulations which reveal the complex out-of-plane dynamics responsible for the Si-C bond inversion.