scanning electron microscope

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Scientific Image - Nanomechanical Antenna Oscillator

This scanning electron micrograph depicts a silicon crystal nanomachined into an antenna oscillator that can vibrate about 1.5 billion times per second.

The antenna-type oscillator is a nanomachined single-crystal structure of silicon. Using this design, movements 1000 times smaller than nanometer scale are amplified into motion of the entire micron-sized structure. Operating at gigahertz speeds, the technology could help further miniaturize wireless communication devices like cell phones. This macroscopic nanomechanical oscillator consists of roughly 50 billion silicon atoms....

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Scientific Image - Nanoscale Interface for Spin Injection

This is a scanning electron micrograph of a nanoscale interface for spin injection in a nanomechanical torsion oscillator used for measuring tiny amounts of torque.

This interface is built on a silicon-based nanomechanical torsion oscillator, a device used to measure tiny amounts of torque. The device contains a central wire running from top left to bottom right. The top surface of one part of this wire is coated with a 50 nm layer of cobalt (which is magnetic); the top surface of the other part is coated with 50 nm of non-magnetic gold. As electrons travel from the magnetic into...

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Scientific Image - Spin Torsion Oscillator

This scanning electron micrograph shows a nanomechanical torsion oscillator used by computer engineers to measure extremely small amounts of torque.

A nanomechanical torsion oscillator is used to measure extremely small torsion or twisting forces smaller than those created by the untwisting of a strand of DNA. When current passes from magnetic into non-magnetic materials, the directional spins of the electrons flip at the boundary, producing a mechanical torque. This device can measure the torque in a metallic nanowire with unprecedented sensitivity. This approach to measuring...

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Scientific Image - Hydrogel Scaffold

This scanning electron microscope image shows a hydrogel scaffold grown for studying brain tissue engineering and nerve regeneration.

Hydrogels are polymers of great interest to researchers studying tissue engineering and nerve regeneration because they are compatible with a range of biological tissues and processes, they have mechanical properties similar to those of soft tissues, and they can be injected into tissues in liquid form. In addition, they allow living cells to assemble spontaneously on the scaffold structure.

• SIZE: The image is 100 µm wide.

• IMAGING...

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Scientific Image - Zinc Oxide Nanowire Photodetector

This scanning electron microscope image shows a zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowire photodetector device grown by photolithography.

Nanowires geometry and structure make them both sensitive to light and efficient low-noise signaling devices, so they are ideally suited for applications involving light—such as detection, imaging, information storage, and intrachip optical communications. In addition, different types of nanowires can be combined to create devices sensitive to different wavelengths of light. Zinc oxide's (ZnO) electrical, optoelectronic, and photochemical properties have led to...

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Scientific Image - Nanowire Photodetector

This scanning electron micrograph shows a gallium nitride nanowire photodetector device with a zinc oxide core grown by e-beam lithography.

The geometry and structure of nanowires make them both sensitive to light and efficient low-noise signaling devices, so they are ideally suited for applications involving light—such as detection, imaging, information storage, and intrachip optical communications. In addition, different types of nanowires can be combined to create devices sensitive to different wavelengths of light.

• SIZE: The nanowire has a diameter of about 200 nm....

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Scientific Image - Silicon Nano-Biosensor

This scanning electron micrograph depicts the functional part of a nano-biosensor containing silicon nanowires. Field effect transistors are best known for their key role in computer microprocessors, but their compatibility with various microfabrication strategies has also led researchers to study them for biosensing applications. For example, glucose biosensors may lead to important innovations in the management of diabetes. The lithographic manufacturing processes involved in their production may mean that such sensors can be produced in quantity and scaled for different applications....

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Scientific Image - Silicon Nanowire Device

This scanning electron microscope image shows a silicon nanowire resting on two silicon nitride (SiNx) membranes.

Thermoelectric materials convert heat to electricity and vice versa. Most fossil-fuel-powered engines generate waste heat, so researchers are using nanotechnologies to explore ways of making thermoelectric devices more efficient in order to convert that waste heat to usable power—and thus save energy. This assembly was built to measure the thermal conductivity of a silicon nanowire synthesized specifically for thermoelectric applications.

• SIZE: The diameter of...

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Scientific Image - Silicon Nanowire Array

This is a scanning electron microscope image of a silicon nanowire array synthesized for thermoelectric applications.

Thermoelectric materials convert heat to electricity and vice versa. Most fossil-fuel-powered engines generate waste heat, so researchers are using nanotechnologies to explore ways of making thermoelectric devices more efficient in order to convert that waste heat to usable power—and thus save energy.

• SIZE: Each nanowire is approximately 100 nm in diameter.

• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope

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Scientific Image - Gold Nanoshells (SEM)

To create this scanning electron microscope image, gold nanoshells were dispersed in a drop of water which then dried on a glass microscope slide. The colors are due to selective scattering of light by nanoscale particles.

Gold Nanoshells have a variety of uses in nanotechnology, and especially in biomedical applications. Nanoshells like these may play important roles in new kinds of cancer treatments, disease detection, and imaging techniques.

• SIZE: These gold nanoshells are each about 120 nm in diameter.

• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope

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