Air bubbles trapped beneath a silicon crystal film are shown in this optical microscope image. Light passing through the bubbles creates the circular patterns and colors.
Extremely thin films like these have important electrical properties and therefore find numerous applications in ultra-fast computer chips and high-yield solar cells. This image shows an intermediate stage of their production; trapped air bubbles are removed in later processing.
Shelly Scott, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The sample imaged is 27 nm thick and a few cm wide.
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