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A brief overview of the kinds of instruments used in nanotechnology research, including the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope.
"This module was developed as part of a Rice University Class called " Nanotechnology: Content and Context " initially funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EEC-0407237. It was conceived, researched, written and edited by students in the Fall 2005 version of the class, and reviewed by participating professors."
Dell Butcher Hall, home of the SEA fish tank, where the SEM, AFM, and STM reside.

Introduction

Light microscopes are used in a number of areas such as medicine, science, and engineering. However, light microscopes cannot give us the high magnifications needed to see the tiniest objects like atoms. As the study of both microstructures and macrostructures of materials have come to the forefront of materials research and development new methods and equipment have been developed. Both the usage of electrons and atomic force rather than light permits advanced degrees of observations than would allow an optical microscope. As the interest in new materials in general and nanomaterials in particular is growing alternatives to optical microscopy are proving fundamental to the advancement of nanoscale science and technology.

Scanning electron microscope

SEM: A Brief History

The scanning electron microscope is an incredible tool for seeing the unseen worlds of microspace. The scanning electron microscope reveals new levels of detail and complexity in the world of micro-organisms and miniature structures. While conventional light microscopes use a series of glass lenses to bend light waves and create a magnified image, the scanning electron microscope creates magnified images by using electrons instead of light waves.

One of the first SEMs

The earliest known work describing the conceptualization of the scanning electron microscope was in 1935 by M. Knoll who, along with other pioneers in the field of electron optics, was working in Germany. Although it was Manfred von Ardenne who laid the foundations of both transmission and surface scanning electron microscopy just before World War II, it is Charles Oatley who is recognized as the great innovator of scanning electron microscopy. Oatley’s involvement with the SEM began immediately after World War II when, his recent wartime experience in the development of radar, allowed him to develop new techniques that could be brought to overcome some of the fundamental problems encountered by von Ardenne in his pre-war research.

Von Ardenne (1938) constructed a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) by adding scan coils to a transmission electron microscope. [1] In the late 1940s Oatley, then a lecturer in the Engineering Department of Cambridge University, England, showed interest in conducting research in the field of electron optics and decided to re-investigate the SEM as an accompaniment to the work being done on the TEM (by V. E. Cosslett, also being developed in Cambridge at the Physics Department). One of Oatley's students, Ken Sander, began working on a column for a transmission electron microscope using electrostatic lenses, but after a long period of illness was forced to suspend his research. His work then was taken up by Dennis McMullan in 1948, when he and Oatley built their first SEM by 1951. By 1952 this instrument had achieved a resolution of 50 nm.

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
AMJAD
what is system testing
AMJAD
what is the application of nanotechnology?
Stotaw
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
Azam
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
Prasenjit
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
Azam
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
Prasenjit
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
Damian
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
Damian
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
Azam
Hello
Uday
I'm interested in Nanotube
Uday
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
Prasenjit
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Nanotechnology: content and context. OpenStax CNX. May 09, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10418/1.1
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