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Etched Silicon Structures

High aspect ratio, etched silicon structures sporting fall colors.

Courtesy of Joshua Schumacher

Taken by Helios NanoLab microscope

Magnification: 5000x
Sample: Silicon
Detector: TLD
Voltage: 2 kV
Working Distance: 2.7

Nanoindent of Copper

Nanoindent on deformed copper imaged with channeling contrast. Nanoindentation is a tool to measure the hardness very localised at a low force. Therefore surface defects such as scratches or, as can be seen here, the oxide layer might have an influence on the measurement.

Courtesy of Joern Leuthold

Taken by Nova NanoSEM microscope

Magnification: 15000x
Sample: Copper
Detector: vCD
Voltage: LE 3kV
Vacuum: 10^-6
Horizontal Field Width: 20
Working Distance: 5.2mm
Spot: 3

Nanocomposite of Polyaniline

Nanocomposite of polyaniline and ferrite after pyrolysis at 600°C under atmosphere of argon. The colors were obtained by software FEI Company.


Taken by Quanta SEM microscope

Magnification: 12642x
Detector: SE
Voltage: 10 kV
Vacuum: 2.07e-5 mbar
Horizontal Field Width: 20.2 µm.
Working Distance: 10 mm
Spot: 1.5 nA

Low Gravity

Because of the causes due to kinetics and gas-solid reprecipitation and sintering mechanisms, in a silicon nitride (MgO doped) porous body, an exaggerated whiskers and ribbon-like whiskers growth thrusting agglomerates of uprooted smaller Si3N4 particles by suspending them into the void of the porosity

Courtesy of Dr. Mauro Mazzocchi , Italian National Council of Research

Taken by Quanta SEM microscope

Magnification: 1500x
Sample: silicon nitride
Detector: BSE
Voltage: 15kV
Vacuum: HV
Working Distance: 8.0
Spot: 2.7

Bending Test

Microcrack after bending test, colored by Manuel Paller

Courtesy of Martina Dienstleder

Taken by DualBeam microscope

Sample: steel
Detector: ETD - SE
Voltage: 5 kV
Horizontal Field Width: 67µm
Working Distance: 6.0 mm

Carbon Ash Grain

Sample is carbon ash grain produced by diesel engine.

Courtesy of Yousef Abu Salha

Taken by Inspect microscope

Magnification: 2112x
Detector: ETD
Voltage: 10 KV
Vacuum: N.A.
Horizontal Field Width: 140 micrometers
Working Distance: 11.8mm
Spot: 4 nA

Sub Micron Particle

Overmold compound between metal lines on a GaAs PA.

Courtesy of Esteban Diaz

Taken by Helios NanoLab microscope

Magnification: 50000x
Detector: STEM II
Voltage: 30 kV
Working Distance: 4.3 mm

Faucet Aerator III

Aerators should be regularly kept cleaned or replaced. The mesh in the aerator can collect lead debris, and then leach this toxic metal into the water passing through it. Aerators cap the ends of most drinking-water faucets. In some cases, they’re used to conserve water by reducing a faucet’s maximum flow rate; in others their primary function is to concentrate the flow of water so that it delivers more pressure and cleaning power. But these little metal cages also collect debris. Including lead. And unless you’re regularly cleaning out those aerators, you might be developing a toxic mini gravel field through which your drinking water must pass before reaching your glass or coffee pot. Indeed, one lead poisoning case in North Carolina involved a child (see link below): www.dcwater.com/waterquality/faqs.cfm


Taken by Quanta SEM microscope

Magnification: 50x
Sample: Aerator
Detector: Mix: SE plus BSE
Voltage: 20 kV
Vacuum: 90 Pa
Horizontal Field Width: 5.97 mm
Working Distance: 15.2
Spot: 3.0

Gold Cake

gold particles on tantalum surface

Courtesy of wadah mahmoud

Taken by Inspect microscope

Magnification: 24,401x
Sample: Tantalum wire
Detector: SE
Voltage: 5 kV
Vacuum: High Vacuum
Working Distance: 11.6 mm
Spot: 3.5 nA

Magnetic field of earth perturbed by a sun storm

The picture was taken after the growth by CVD of silicon nanowires on a copper foil with gold on top. When I saw it I remembered the perturbation caused by sun storms on magnetic field of the earth. These nanowires will be used to manufacture anodes of ion-Li batteries.

Courtesy of Isidoro Ignacio Poveda Barriga

Taken by SEM microscope

Magnification: 20,000x
Sample: Cu, Au, silicon nanowires
Detector: SE
Voltage: 10 kV
Working Distance: 5,2

PbSe nanoparticles

PbSe nanoparticles mixed with organic P-MEHPPV

Courtesy of Mr. Leonardi Tjayadi , University of Michigan

Taken by Quanta SEM microscope

Micro Unicorn

A rare sighting in a Scanning Electron Microscope, behold the Micro Unicorn!

Courtesy of Dr. Joshua Schumacher , National Institute of Standards and Technology

Taken by Helios NanoLab microscope

Magnification: 6500
Detector: ETD SE
Voltage: 5 kV
Horizontal Field Width: 23.0
Working Distance: 4.0

Sugar Crystal

To demonstrate high quality imaging using very low accelerating voltage.

Courtesy of David McCarthy

Taken by Quanta SEM microscope

Magnification: 187x
Sample: Sugar Crystal
Detector: SE
Voltage: 0.5KV
Vacuum: 1.42e-4 Pas
Horizontal Field Width: 1.37mm
Working Distance: 8.5mm
Spot: 3.0

Atomic steps

Au/Ge system. Gold clusters and monatomic steps visible.

Courtesy of Dr. Benedykt R. Jany , Marian Smoluchowski Institute of Physics Jagiellonian University Krakow

Taken by Quanta 3D microscope

Horizontal Field Width: 2.48μm

Nano Graphite Rabbit

Graphite shells arranged in a very interesting way.

Courtesy of Douglas Rodrigues Miquita

Taken by Tecnai microscope

Magnification: 285,000x
Voltage: 200 kV

Colliding dices

crystal salt

Courtesy of Mrs. Zehra Sinem YILMAZ , İzmir Institute of Technology Center for Materials Research

Taken by Quanta SEM microscope

Magnification: 300x
Sample: crystal salt
Detector: SE
Voltage: 5 kV
Vacuum: 1.03e-3 Pa
Horizontal Field Width: 1.38 mm
Working Distance: 10.4
Spot: 3.0


The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image is of the head of an embryonic Zebrafish. This is a model organism currently being used for studies into the genetic causes of neurodegeneration. This research project involves Kim Wager, a Ph.D. student jointly supervised by Dr Claire Russell (RVC) and Professor Robert Harvey (UCL School of Pharmacy). The Zebrafish was imaged under a FEI Quanta 200F Scanning Electron Microscope. Firstly, the sample was chemically fixed in 4% (w/v) paraformaldehyde in 0.1M Sodium Cacodylate buffer, followed by dehydration in graduated alcohol and drying in a Leica Critical Point (CPD300) dryer. Prior to imaging, the specimen was given a 5nm gold coating in a Quorum Q150 Sputter coater and imaged at 5KV. In addition, a high tilt angle of 65 degrees enhanced the full structure of the head region. A high-resolution digital image was captured, imported into Photoshop and was artistically coloured by Ms Annie Cavanagh.

Courtesy of David McCarthy

Taken by Quanta SEM microscope

Magnification: 500
Sample: Biological
Detector: SE
Voltage: 5KV
Vacuum: 112/e-3 Pa
Horizontal Field Width: 512
Working Distance: 15mm
Spot: 2

Mesoporous Silica

Surface of a mesoporous silica SBA-15 sample imaged at very high magnification, using 1keV landing energy and very low dose (3pA) for minimum charging and beam damage. Product: Verios SEM

Taken by Verios XHR SEM microscope

Dracocephalum Nectary

Dracocephalum nectary, critical point dried, coated with Pd/Au

Courtesy of Mr. Michał Rawski , Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin

Taken by Quanta 3D microscope

Magnification: 75x
Sample: plant tissue
Detector: ETD SE
Voltage: 2 kV
Vacuum: 4.19e-4 Pa
Horizontal Field Width: 1.99 mm
Working Distance: 10.0
Spot: 4.5

Bone in a Bullet

Bone remains attached in a bullet found at a Crime Scene. The bone was in the area of greatest deformation of the Lead projectile.

Courtesy of Mr. Francisco Torres , Policía de Investigaciones de Chile

Taken by Quanta 3D microscope

Sample: Bone and bullet
Detector: LFD
Voltage: 20 kV
Vacuum: 80 Pa
Horizontal Field Width: 2.42 mm
Working Distance: 14.7
Spot: 5


Hydroxyapatite is a form of calcium phosphate that has a large number of applications such as bone implants, and drug delivery systems. For each application, the use of calcium based materials is optimized by specifying their geometry, dimension, density, pore size, mechanical strength, purity, and chemical phase.


Taken by Quanta SEM microscope

Magnification: 3,000x
Sample: Hydroxyapatite
Detector: Mix: SE plus BSE.
Voltage: 20 kV
Vacuum: 130 Pa
Horizontal Field Width: 99.5 μm
Working Distance: 16.6
Spot: 4.0

nine plus two

Cross sections through high-pressure frozen Nucella lamellosa sperm tails showing the classic 9+2 arrangement of microtubules, and amazing plasma membrane detail.

Courtesy of Mr. Garnet Martens , BioImaging Facility

Taken by Tecnai microscope

Silver Clusters - Invisible Worlds

Silver clusters deposited by thermal evaporation onto self-assembled polystyrene nano-spheres (900 nm). Inspect F SEM FEG @ Nanofacility Piemonte INRIM. Self-assembled polystyrene nanospheres are used as masks for thin films and materials nanostructuration on large area. Maybe the subject doesn't match the topics of this year, but surely the title fits.

Courtesy of Luca Boarino

Taken by Inspect microscope

Magnification: 50000x
Sample: Polystyrene and Silver on silicon wafer
Detector: SE
Voltage: 2 kV
Vacuum: .2 mbar
Horizontal Field Width: 2 µm
Working Distance: 10.2
Spot: 3

Titanium nitride nanofibers

One dimensional titanium nitride nanofibers prepared by electrospinning

Courtesy of Dr. Wei Luo , Oregon state university

Taken by Quanta SEM microscope

Magnification: 20,000X
Sample: Titanium nitride
Detector: SE
Voltage: 10 kV
Vacuum: 0.1 mbar
Horizontal Field Width: 5.97 μm
Working Distance: 4.9 mm
Spot: 3.0

Gamma prime phase in Ni-based superalloy

Etched microstructure of the gamma prime phase strengthening Ni-based superalloys applied for jet engine turbine blades.

Courtesy of Mr. Radosław Swadźba , Institute for Ferrous Metallurgy

Taken by Inspect microscope

Magnification: 6000
Sample: Ni-based superalloy
Detector: BSE
Voltage: 15kV
Working Distance: 7.3
Spot: 4