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Midsize Facilities: The Infrastructure for Materials Research
the measured area may be relatively large, the third dimension, depth into the surface, is microscopic in dimension. Included within the scope of microcharacterization are the sciences and methods of electron microscopy (transmission electron microscopy [TEM], scanning transmission electron microscopy [STEM], low-energy electron microscopy [LEEM], spin polarized low-energy electron microscopy [SPLEEM], scanning electron microscopy [SEM], reflection high-energy electron diffraction [RHEED], etc.), surface analysis (Auger electron spectroscopy [AES], scanning Auger electron spectroscopy [SAES], ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy [UPS], x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy [XPS], secondary ion mass spectrometry [SIMS], scanning tunneling microscopy [STM], atomic force microscopy [AFM], other scanning probe microscopies, etc.), ion beam analyses (Rutherford backscattering [RBS], particle induced x-ray emission [PIXE], channeling, etc.), x-ray and neutron scattering (wide angle x-ray scattering [WAXS], small angle x-ray scattering [SAXS], fluorescence analysis, etc.), and the group of techniques classified as field emission, field ion, and atom probe microscopies. A somewhat broader view of microcharacterization would include techniques such as nanoindentation. The incomplete listing above demonstrates that the field of microcharacterization is a highly dynamic one and one that makes use of a wide range of physical phenomena. These techniques meet the needs of materials scientists to understand the structure and chemistry of complex systems in order to understand the properties that interest them.
In view of the above, it is fair to ask why the field of microcharacterization remains the “Rodney Dangerfield” of the physical sciences. The lack of incorporation of these sciences into the departments of physics and chemistry in the United States stems from a number of factors and differs for the different techniques. X-ray scattering, in its various manifestations, is accepted in these science departments, perhaps due to its quantitative nature, although academic departments rarely hire faculty whose main research interest is in this field. Surface analysis techniques are widely accepted in departments of chemistry as tools to be used but are rarely a part of the teaching curricula. Electron microscopy methods, although they are widely used by the physics and chemistry research communities, are not considered as subjects for inclusion in the curricula. Rarely are faculty whose area of interest lies in electron microscopy included in the faculty of these departments. While the science underlying electron microscopy methods is considerable and is sophisticated, it is only recently that the field has progressed to the stage where quantitative results can be obtained. It is this lack of quantification that probably lies at the core of