|New electron microscope captures movements of atoms and molecules|
|Tuesday, 03 December 2013 17:11|
A new microscope invented at Michigan State University allows scientists to zoom in on the movements of atoms and molecules.
Electron microscopes allow scientists to see the structure of microorganisms, cells, metals, crystals and other tiny structures that weren’t visible with light microscopes. But the relationship between structure and function could only be estimated because of static images. In the 1990s, researchers added a fourth dimension — time — by using a laser to capture images of gaseous molecules as they were reacting.
Now, Chong-Yu Ruan, MSU associate professor of physics and astronomy, has brought these “molecular movies” down to the nanoscale level, where the properties of materials begin to change. The work has applications in nanoelectronic technologies and in clean-energy industries.