Dead bugs, cat hair, air filter...what would you view under a scanning electron microscope? | The American Ceramic Society

Dead bugs, cat hair, air filter…what would you view under a scanning electron microscope?

scanning electron microscope image of pyralidae moth, side view of head, Wikipedia Commons.

Scanning electron microscope image of moth, side view of head, Wikipedia Commons.

If you had a chance to view anything under the most powerful microscope, what would it be? A flower? Rotting food? Lightning bug? An old toothbrush? Or, better yet, maybe some ceramic material you are interested in?

Here at CTT – through the generosity of one of our friends in the microscopy field – we are offering our readers the opportunity to choose an item for view using a scanning electron microscope.

An SEM is a type of electron microscope that images the sample surface by scanning it with a high-energy beam of electrons. The electrons interact with the atoms that make up the sample producing signals that contain information about the sample’s surface topography, composition and other properties such as electrical conductivity. All that to say, this is one cool piece of machinery.

We’ve written a lot about research advancements enabled through the use of SEMs. The capabilities of these machines are simply amazing. And given the opportunity to scan some items, we leave the choice up to you.

In the comments section below, tell us what you’d like to see scanned. We’ll take some of the best suggestions and put it up for a vote. We’ll then post the SEM images on our site.

Get creative and have fun! I can’t wait to see what you suggest.

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