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Scientific Image - Single Hair from a Gecko's Foot

The feet of the gecko cling to virtually any surface. This scanning electron microscope image shows one of the branching hairs, or setae, on the sole of a gecko's foot. These hairs nestle into nanoscale niches on the contact surface.

The gecko's amazing ability to cling to vertical or inverted surfaces is due to the interaction between nanoscale structures on its feet and tiny crevices on the wall or ceiling. The soles of gecko feet are made up of overlapping adhesive lamellae covered with millions of superfine hairs, or setae, each of which branches out at the end into hundreds...

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Scientific Image - Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing (reflected light)

The colors of the Blue Morpho's wing are generated by nanometer-sized structures on the wing's scales. In this image, light reflected from the scales creates the Morpho's characteristic iridescent blue color.

The Blue Morpho is common in Central and South America and known for its bright blue wings. However, these iridescent colors are created not by pigments in the wing tissues but instead by the way light interacts with nanometer-sized structures on the Morpho's wing scales. This effect is being studied as a model in the development of new fabrics, dye-free paints, and anti-...

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Scientific Image - Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing (non-reflected light)

The colors of the Blue Morpho's wing are generated by nanometer-sized structures on the wing's scales. In this image, only the light passing through the wing is seen, revealing the wing's pigment-produced brown hue.

The Blue Morpho is common in Central and South America and known for its bright blue wings. However, these iridescent colors are created not by pigments in the wing tissues but instead by the way light interacts with nanometer-sized structures on the Morpho's wing scales. This effect is being studied as a model in the development of new fabrics, dye-free paints, and...

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Scientific Image - Nanotubes Mimicking Gecko Feet

The nanoscale structures on a gecko's foot enable it to cling to most surfaces. This scanning electron microscope image shows multiwalled carbon nanotubes attached to a polymer backing, an experiment designed to replicate the gecko foot's adhesive properties.

The gecko's amazing ability to cling to vertical or inverted surfaces is due to the interaction between nanoscale structures on its feet and tiny crevices on the wall or ceiling. The soles of gecko feet are made up of overlapping adhesive lamellae covered with millions of superfine hairs, or setae, each of which branches out...

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Scientific Image - Human Red Blood Cells (SEM)

Red blood cells carry a protein called hemoglobin which has a molecular structure adapted to transport oxygen to body tissues. This scanning electron micrograph shows the cells' characteristic donut-like shapes.

• SIZE: The typical diameter of a human red blood cell is 6-8 µm.

• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope

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Scientific Image - Human Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells carry a protein called hemoglobin which has a molecular structure adapted to transport oxygen to body tissues. The cells' flexibility allows them to flow through tiny capillaries.

• SIZE: The typical diameter of a human red blood cell is 6-8 µm.

• IMAGING TOOL: Optical microscope

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Scientific Image - Platinum Atoms

Platinum atoms are arranged in closely packed hexagonal layers. A top view of this hexagonal structure is shown in this scanning tunneling microscope image.

Platinum has applications in automotive engineering, chemical processing, jewelry, electronics, and wires and electrical contacts for use in corrosive or high-voltage environments. Platinum is also a component in magnetic coatings for high-density hard disc drives and new varieties of optical storage systems.

• SIZE: The size of a platinum atom is around 0.3 nm.

• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning tunneling microscope

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Scientific Image - Water Droplet on a Nasturtium Leaf

The Lotus Effect describes water droplets rolling off leaf surfaces, removing dirt and contaminants in the process. This phenomenon can also be seen in the more common nasturtium. Scanning electron microscope images show that nasturtium leaves are covered by waxy nanocrystal bundles. The uneven surface created by these tiny structures traps air between water and leaf, causing the water to roll off. Research on such nanoscale effects has inspired revolutionary new materials, including water- and stain-resistant fabrics.

• IMAGING TOOL: Optical microscope

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Scientific Image - Nasturtium Leaf

The Lotus Effect describes water droplets rolling off leaf surfaces, removing dirt and contaminants in the process. This phenomenon can also be seen in the more common nasturtium. Scanning electron microscope images show that nasturtium leaves are covered by waxy nanocrystal bundles. The uneven surface created by these tiny structures traps air between water and leaf, causing the water to roll off. Research on such nanoscale effects has inspired revolutionary new materials, including water- and stain-resistant fabrics.

• SIZE: Each wax nanocrystal bundle is about 1-2 µm wide....

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Scientific Image - Nasturtium Leaf

The Lotus Effect describes water droplets rolling off leaf surfaces, removing dirt and contaminants in the process. This phenomenon can also be seen in the more common nasturtium. Scanning electron microscope images show that nasturtium leaves are covered by waxy nanocrystal bundles. The uneven surface created by these tiny structures traps air between water and leaf, causing the water to roll off. Research on such nanoscale effects has inspired revolutionary new materials, including water- and stain-resistant fabrics.

• SIZE: The wax nanocrystal bundles covering the leaf are each...

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