Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NIST’s new way of ’seeing’: A neutron microscope

02.08.2004


A prototype microscope that uses neutrons instead of light to "see" magnified images has been demonstrated at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Neutron microscopes might eventually offer certain advantages over optical, X-ray and electron imaging techniques such as better contrast for biological samples.



Described in the July 19 issue of Applied Physics Letters, the imaging process involves hitting a sample with an intense neutron beam. The neutrons that pass through--whose pattern reflects the sample’s internal structure--are directed into a row of 100 dimpled aluminum plates. Each dimpled plate acts like a weak focusing lens for neutrons, diverting the neutrons’ path slightly at each interface. The image then is projected onto a detector. Adelphi Technology Inc. of San Carlos, Calif., designed and demonstrated the microscope with the help of NIST scientists, who routinely use multiple lenses to focus neutron beams for other research.

In principle, neutrons could provide better image resolution than visible light because they have shorter wavelengths---as short as 1 nanometer (nm) compared to 400-700 nm. In this demonstration at NIST’s Center for Neutron Research, the microscope produced a resolution of only 0.5 millimeters and a magnification of about 10. However, Adelphi hopes to substantially improve image resolution through research to reduce lens aberrations. The company also hopes to build a compact, laboratory-scale neutron source.


Moreover, neutrons offer some unique advantages. Unlike other imaging methods, neutrons interact strongly with hydrogen, an important component of biological samples composed mostly of hydrocarbons and water. And neutrons easily penetrate samples, thereby reducing artifacts produced with other techniques requiring thin slices, staining or fixing.

Stanford University also participated in the research, which was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information
21.07.2017 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion
21.07.2017 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>