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Book Reviews

Crystal Field Handbook

By D. J. Newman and B. K. C. Ng

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England 2000
ISBN 0-521-59124-4; hardback; 290; $95.00

This book covers the phenomenological theory of magnetic ions in crystals and their optical spectra. These include, for example, the crystal field splitting effects observed in lanthanide and actinide ions in a host crystal. The uses of these materials systems is steadily increasing, from laser crystals to new magnetic materials, the high Tc superconductors, and collosal magnetoresistance manganates. In addition to two-photon fluorescence and other spectroscopies, inelastic neutron scattering has proven invaluable for the study of these ions. The book provides all the background needed to derive all the phenomenological crystal field parameters in terms of the crystal field Hamiltonian, with many tabulations and examples of how these parameters may be extracted from experimental spectra and inelastic neutron scattering data. The effects of electron correlation on field splittings are fully discussed, as are S-state ions, invariants and moments, Trammel’s semiclassical model, the intensities of transitions, and the point group symmetries involved. The book contains listings (and downloads) of several QBASIC computer codes–for example, to fit crystal field parameters to sets of energy levels of a single J multiplet, and to convert these parameters to intrinsic parameters. The book offers web support.

This book is a technical research monograph, with emphasis on phenomenological fitting techniques, rather than ab-initio theory derivations. As such it will be most useful to experimental researchers in this field. It might have benefited from a more extended introduction, placing the work in better context, and indicating a fuller list of applications for magnetic ions and their uses in materials science. Although the book is an edited collection of chapters, most of the chapters involve one of the lead authors, so that an impressive coherence has been obtained between different chapters, which lacks in many similar books. We can recommend this well written book to all researchers in the field.

Regent’s Prof. J.C.H. Spence
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Arizona State University
Tempe, Ariz., USA

Advances in Scanning Probe Microscopy

By T. Skurai and Y. Watanabe

Springer-Verlag, New York, New York, 2000
ISBN 3-540-66718-0; hardback; 341 pages; $85.00

This book is the second volume of the Springer Series Advances in Material Research, which is edited by scientists from the Institute of Material Research (IMR) of Tohoku University Japan. The book is neither written as a textbook nor as a general review; it covers only parts of the research fields of the editors. Contributions to this book are made by one editor and by additional authors.

The book contains nine chapters plus an index. It starts with an overview of the theory of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), frictional force microscopy, and dynamic and noncontact atomic force microscopy. Then, the first-principles electronic structure theory for semiconductor surfaces is used for the theory of scanning tunneling microscopy of semiconductors. Chapter 3 deals with surface studies on silicon carbide (6H-SiC). Chapter 4 describes the atom manipulation for fabricating nanoscale and atomic-scale structures on Si-surfaces. Chapter 5 compares STM studies with theoretical investigations of fullerenes adsorbed on substrates. The following two chapters deal with experimental and theoretical studies of the barrier height in STM and the use of STM for mesoscopic work function measurements. The contents of Chapter 8 is focused on STM investigations of the reconstructions on clean (001) surfaces of various III–V compound semiconductors.

The last chapter reviews investigations of adsorption and film growth of fullerenes on semiconductor and metal substrates using field-ion scanning tunneling microscopy.

Each chapter starts with a summary and an introduction into the actual problem and ends with a list of references for further reading. All chapters contain high-quality figures and clear illustrations.

Because the content of the book is a very specific one, it is not of general interest. However, if you are working in one of the above-mentioned research areas, I believe this book has many benefits.

Wolfgang Mertin
Werkstoffe der Elektrotechnik
Gerhard-Mercator-Universitat Duisburg
Bismarck, Germany

Transmission Electron Microscopy and Diffractometry of Materials

By B. Fultz and J. M. Howe

Springer-Verlag, New York, New York 2001
ISBN 3-540-67841-7; hardback; 748 pages; $89.95

The two topics of this book, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and diffractometry, are experimental techniques widely used for material analysis. This textbook provides a very thorough introduction to the theoretical and practical knowledge required for their successful implementation. Although written primarily for graduate students, anyone interested in learning about either technique will find this book to be a useful acquisition. The text contains simple explanations of the phenomena discussed and has over 400 illustrations, so it is not too difficult. It also includes worked examples, which are always invaluable in a textbook. Course lecturers will find what is essentially a ready-made lecture course, which can be adapted to suit individual requirements.

The first two chapters are devoted to the basic concepts of and the instrumentation required for diffraction and TEM. Chapter 3 discusses scattering, and this theme is continued in the next chapter, which examines inelastic electron scattering and spectroscopy. This is followed by chapters on diffraction, crystallography, and diffraction contrast. The remaining chapters are on diffraction line shapes, Patterson functions and diffuse scattering, high-resolution TEM, and the dynamical theory.

The chapters are conveniently divided into sections with the more specialised and mathematical sections flagged so it is easy for readers to find their way about the text and selectively pass over some of the sections. On the other hand, anyone wishing to pursue the topics further will find a list of suggested reading provided at the end of each chapter.

One of the main strengths of the book lies in the treatment of the subjects. In their preface the authors state that “Beneath the details of principle and practice lies a larger goal of unifying the concepts common to both TEM and XRD;” their success in achieving this can only be of great benefit to the reader.

On the more negative front there are some gaps. For example, the important field of specimen preparation for TEM is given a very wide berth; and I was a bit surprised that I could not find a reference to texture analysis in the text. However, to be fair to the authors, I think there must inevitably be some gaps in a book of this nature.

Maureen MacKenzie
Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of Glasgow
Glasgow, U.K.