The overlapping scales on the wing of the Blue Morpho Butterfly contain nanoscale structures that reflect light to create iridescent colors. This scanning electron microscope image shows Morpho wing scales from above.
scanning electron microscope
This is a scanning electron microscope image of a photonic crystal. The periodic arrangement of the holes in the material controls the movement of light within the crystal.
The tree-like structures in this scanning electron microscope image of a cross section of a butterfly wing are on the undersides of the Morpho's wing scale ridges. These microribs reflect light to create iridescent colors.
This scanning electron microscope image shows pollen particles from a variety of common plants: sunflower, morning glory, hollyhock, lily, primrose, and castor bean.
• SIZE: The smallest pollen grains are about 6-8 µm in diameter.
• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope (SEM)
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)
This is a scanning electron microscope image of a silica nanowire on a silica aerogel surface. New technologies have made it possible to draw glass in long, ultra-smooth wires with uniform diameters in the nanometer range. Because of their extraordinary uniformity, these nanowires have unique properties important in optics and photonics, both of which require precise control of light.
• SIZE: The nanowire is 530 nm long and the radius of the bent wire is 8 µm.
• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning Electron Microscope