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Scientific Image - Nanomechanical Antenna Oscillator

This scanning electron micrograph depicts a silicon crystal nanomachined into an antenna oscillator that can vibrate about 1.5 billion times per second.

The antenna-type oscillator is a nanomachined single-crystal structure of silicon. Using this design, movements 1000 times smaller than nanometer scale are amplified into motion of the entire micron-sized structure. Operating at gigahertz speeds, the technology could help further miniaturize wireless communication devices like cell phones. This macroscopic nanomechanical oscillator consists of roughly 50 billion silicon atoms.

Scientific Image - Hydrogel Scaffold

This scanning electron microscope image shows a hydrogel scaffold grown for studying brain tissue engineering and nerve regeneration.

Hydrogels are polymers of great interest to researchers studying tissue engineering and nerve regeneration because they are compatible with a range of biological tissues and processes, they have mechanical properties similar to those of soft tissues, and they can be injected into tissues in liquid form. In addition, they allow living cells to assemble spontaneously on the scaffold structure.

• SIZE: The image is 100 µm wide.

Scientific Image - Nanowire Photodetector

This scanning electron micrograph shows a gallium nitride nanowire photodetector device with a zinc oxide core grown by e-beam lithography.

The geometry and structure of nanowires make them both sensitive to light and efficient low-noise signaling devices, so they are ideally suited for applications involving light—such as detection, imaging, information storage, and intrachip optical communications. In addition, different types of nanowires can be combined to create devices sensitive to different wavelengths of light.

• SIZE: The nanowire has a diameter of about 200 nm.

Scientific Image - Silicon Nanowire Device

This scanning electron microscope image shows a silicon nanowire resting on two silicon nitride (SiNx) membranes.

Thermoelectric materials convert heat to electricity and vice versa. Most fossil-fuel-powered engines generate waste heat, so researchers are using nanotechnologies to explore ways of making thermoelectric devices more efficient in order to convert that waste heat to usable power—and thus save energy. This assembly was built to measure the thermal conductivity of a silicon nanowire synthesized specifically for thermoelectric applications.

Scientific Image - Silicon Nanowire

This transmission electron microscope image shows a single silicon nanowire.

Thermoelectric materials convert heat to electricity and vice versa. Most fossil-fuel-powered engines generate waste heat, so researchers are using nanotechnologies to explore ways of making thermoelectric devices more efficient in order to convert that waste heat to usable power—and thus save energy.

• SIZE: The diameter of this nanowire is approximately 100 nm.

• IMAGING TOOL: Transmission electron microscope

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