Nanomaterials Up Close: Gum Arabic

30 Jun 2014

This alien glob is a piece of gum arabic from the hardened sap of the Acacia tree, most likely collected from a tree in Sudan. Rox Middleton explains how the electron microscope has changed the way we are able to interact with objects at the nanoscale, allowing us to enjoy a glimpse of the exquisite abstract forms around us.

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Nanomaterials Up Close: Forest of carbon nanotubes

26 Jun 2014

This image shows a ‘forest’ of carbon nanotubes – thousands upon thousands of tiny rolls of carbon atoms, grown on a scrap of copper foil. James Dolan explains how easy it is to run across beautiful scenery such as this when attempting to fabricate new electronic devices for the first time.

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Nanomaterials Up Close: Nanoengineered electron guns

19 Jun 2014

In this video we see an electron gun made of many thousands of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, each more than 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Dr Matt Cole explains the technological importance of exploiting emerging nanomaterials to engineer functionally novel X-ray sources.

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Nanomaterials Up Close: Synthetic opal

13 Jun 2014

In this video we see a synthetic opal, which is made using polystyrene spheres surrounded by even tinier polystyrene spheres around 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Harry Beeson explains how it’s important to look at nanoscale structures like this to improve the efficiency of solar cells.

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Nanomaterials Up Close: Salt baskets

05 Jun 2014

This electron microscope picture, reminiscent of man-made baskets or children’s blocks, shows cubic salt crystals that have been forced to form in spheres, as Rox Middleton explains.

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