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Observation of diffuse scattering in scanning helium microscopy.

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In understanding the nature of contrast in the emerging field of neutral helium microscopy, it is important to identify if there is an atom-surface scattering distribution that can be expected to apply broadly across a range of sample surfaces. Here we present results acquired in a scanning helium microscope (SHeM) under typical operating conditions, from a range of surfaces in their native state, i.e. without any specialist sample preparation. We observe diffuse scattering, with an approximately cosine distribution centred about the surface normal. The 'cosine-like' distribution is markedly different from those distributions observed from the well-prepared, atomically pristine, surfaces typically studied in helium atom scattering experiments. Knowledge of the typical scattering distribution in SHeM experiments provides a starting basis for interpretation of topographic contrast in images, as well as a reference against which more exotic contrast mechanisms can be compared.



5102 Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 51 Physical Sciences

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Phys Chem Chem Phys

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Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R008272/1)
EPSRC (EP/T00634X/1)
The work was supported by EPSRC grant EP/R008272/1. The authors acknowledge support by the Cambridge Atom Scattering Centre (\url{}) and EPSRC award EP/T00634X/1. SML acknowledges funding from Mathworks Ltd. The work was performed in part at the Materials node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility, a company established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy to provide nano and microfabrication facilities for Australia’s researchers.
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