From Brookhaven Lab: “New Microscope Captures Nanoscale Structures in Dazzling 3D”

April 18, 2012
Justin Eure

“A new x-ray microscope probes the inner intricacies of materials smaller than human cells and creates unparalleled high-resolution 3D images. By integrating unique automatic calibrations, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory are able to capture and combine thousands of images with greater speed and precision than any other microscope. The direct observation of structures spanning 25 nanometers – or 25 billionths of a meter – will offer fundamental advances in many fields, including energy research, environmental sciences, biology, and national defense.

This innovative full field transmission x-ray microscope (TXM), funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, was developed and commissioned at Brookhaven Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which provides the x-ray source needed to capture images on the nanoscale. A new paper published in the April 2012 Applied Physics Letters details the experimental success of a breakthrough system that rapidly combines 2D images taken from every angle to form digital 3D constructs.

‘We can actually see the internal 3D structure of materials at the nanoscale,’ said Brookhaven physicist Jun Wang, lead author of the paper and head of the team that first proposed this TXM. ‘The device works beautifully, and it overcomes several major obstacles for x-ray microscopes. We’re excited to see the way this technology will push research.’”

Collaborators from Photon Sciences and Sustainable Energy Technologies stand behind the new transmission x-ray microscope (TXM) at Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source. From left: Yu-chen Karen Chen-Wiegart, Can Erdonmez, Jun Wang (team leader), and Christopher Eng.

See the full article here.

One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.