"Exploring Tools - Special Microscopes" is a hands-on activity in which visitors use a flexible magnet as a model for a scanning probe microscope. They learn that SPMs are an example of a special tool that scientists use to work on the nanoscale.
The orientation of the nickel nanowires shown in this scanning electron microscope can be changed by altering the direction of an applied magnetic field.
Nanowires are a key focus of nanotechnology research due to their potential uses in nanoscale electronic, magnetic, optical, and mechanical devices. Nickel nanowires in particular may play an important role in increasing the memory capacity of computer hard disc drives.
• SIZE: The nanowires are 100-200 nm in diameter and about 20 µm in length.
• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)