CNRS Technologies

Find the best CNRS technologies to boost your innovative project.

Newest patents

You are a research scientist?

We can guide you through the whole technology transfer process.

See all our services

You are a corporate player?

Thanks to our expertise, our network and our know-how of the innovation ecosystem, we support you throughout your project.

Contact us

Follow our news and upcoming events

Discover CNRS technologies

Meet our team


Process and device for fast atom diffraction in surface analysis



Patents status

French patent application FR0606211 filed on July 7th, 2006 entitled: “Dispositif et procédé de caractérisation de surfaces”


Philippe RONCIN

commercial status

Research agreement or exclusive licenses


Laboratory Laboratoire des collisions atomiques et moléculaires, Université Paris Sud, (UMR 8625), a CNRS laboratory, Orsay, France,



This invention describes a device and a process based on fast (100 to 1000 eV) atom diffraction for surface analysis. It makes it possible to determine the crystallographic structure of crystalline surfaces and control in real time crystal growth by molecular beams epitaxy.

The device is composed of an ion source (Fig1A-1), a neutralizer and a detection system (Fig1A-4). The beam of neutrals (Fig1A-2) is collimated and directed under grazing incidence (from 0.5° to 3°) on the sample surface (Fig 1A-3). The detection system consists of microchannel plates coupled to a phosphor screen, its high efficiency makes it possible to work with extremely low beam intensities, as compared to other techniques (RHEED).


Because this technique uses atoms at grazing angles, it is sensitive only to the top surface layer and allows the study of insulating samples in a totally non destructive manner. This represents a major advantage compared to RHEED, which induces a charging of the surface and generally creates irreversible damage on this type of material.


This device finds its use in real time control of thin film growth and the study of crystallographic structures of semi-conductors and insulators. This device is fully compatible with Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) systems.

Need further information ?

Contact us

Contact us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Newest patents