The group has also been stalled in its attempt to use the PoSAP to study the interfaces of thin film electronic materials.
Toshihiko Yoshimura, a member of the team, has been trying to fabricate a PoSAP specimen from thin film materials, but has run into difficulties getting the proper orientation of the sample.
They believe that, once they succeed, they will be able to use the PoSAP to produce better materials for magnetic media and integrated circuits.
Kindbrisk's Smith says that one of the Japanese groups plans to integrate the PoSAP with scanning tunneling microscopy to permit atomic-scale manipulation and fabrication of materials.
Varied uses For their own part, the Oxford researchers have been using the PoSAP to study:
"We're using the PoSAP to study interface chemistry right at the atomic scale," says Smith.