Tool: Optical Microscope

Human Venule

Human Venule
This is an optical microscope image of a human venule—a tiny blood vessel. A venule is tiny blood vessel that connects capillaries—where the blood exchanges the oxygen it carries for carbon dioxide—to larger veins leading back to the heart.

Minimum credit: 

Roger Wagner, University of Delaware

Size: 

A venule is about 30 µm in diameter.

Pixels: Width: 

713

Pixels: Height: 

486

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

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Gold Nanoshells (optical microscope)

Gold Nanoshells (optical microscope)
To create this optical microscope image, gold nanoshells were dispersed in a drop of water which then dried on a glass microscope slide. The colors are due to selective scattering of light by nanoscale particles. Gold Nanoshells have a variety of uses in nanotechnology, and especially in biomedical applications. Nanoshells like these may play important roles in new kinds of cancer treatments, disease detection, and imaging techniques.

Minimum credit: 

Gary Koenig, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This is a NISE Network product: 

no

Size: 

These gold nanoshells are each about 120 nm in diameter.

Pixels: Width: 

2998

Pixels: Height: 

2398

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

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Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing (reflected light)

Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing (reflected light)
The colors of the Blue Morpho's wing are generated by nanometer-sized structures on the wing's scales. In this image, light reflected from the scales creates the Morpho's characteristic iridescent blue color. The Blue Morpho is common in Central and South America and known for its bright blue wings. However, these iridescent colors are created not by pigments in the wing tissues but instead by the way light interacts with nanometer-sized structures on the Morpho's wing scales. This effect is being studied as a model in the development of new fabrics, dye-free paints, and anti-counterfeit technologies for currency.

Minimum credit: 

F. Nijhout, Duke University

Size: 

Each scale is about 70x200 µm.

Pixels: Width: 

2080

Pixels: Height: 

1542

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

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Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing (non-reflected light)

Blue Morpho Butterfly Wing (non-reflected light)
The colors of the Blue Morpho's wing are generated by nanometer-sized structures on the wing's scales. In this image, only the light passing through the wing is seen, revealing the wing's pigment-produced brown hue. The Blue Morpho is common in Central and South America and known for its bright blue wings. However, these iridescent colors are created not by pigments in the wing tissues but instead by the way light interacts with nanometer-sized structures on the Morpho's wing scales. This effect is being studied as a model in the development of new fabrics, dye-free paints, and anti-counterfeit technologies for currency.

Minimum credit: 

F. Nijhout, Duke University

Size: 

Each scale is about 70x200 µm.

Pixels: Width: 

2080

Pixels: Height: 

1542

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

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Human Red Blood Cells (optical microscope)

Human Red Blood Cells (optical microscope)
Red blood cells carry a protein called hemoglobin which has a molecular structure adapted to transport oxygen to body tissues. The cells' flexibility allows them to flow through tiny capillaries.

Minimum credit: 

Kristina Yu, Exploratorium

Size: 

The typical diameter of a human red blood cell is 6-8 µm.

Pixels: Width: 

2560

Pixels: Height: 

1920

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

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Water Droplet on Nasturtium Leaf

Water Droplet on Nasturtium Leaf
The Lotus Effect describes water droplets rolling off leaf surfaces, removing dirt and contaminants in the process. This phenomenon can also be seen in the more common nasturtium. Scanning electron microscope images show that nasturtium leaves are covered by waxy nanocrystal bundles. The uneven surface created by these tiny structures traps air between water and leaf, causing the water to roll off. Research on such nanoscale effects has inspired revolutionary new materials, including water- and stain-resistant fabrics.

Minimum credit: 

A. Otten and S. Herminghaus, Göttingen, Germany

Pixels: Width: 

767

Pixels: Height: 

423

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

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Glass Nanowire

Glass Nanowire
In this optical microscope image, light can be seen passing though a silica nanowire on a silica aerogel surface. New technologies have made it possible to draw glass in long, ultra-smooth wires with uniform diameters in the nanometer range. Because of their extraordinary uniformity, these nanowires have unique properties important in optics and photonics, both of which require precise control of light.

Minimum credit: 

Eric Mazur, Harvard University

This is a NISE Network product: 

no

Size: 

This nanowire is 530 nm long and the radius of the bent wire is 8 µm.

Pixels: Width: 

1000

Pixels: Height: 

752

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

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Silicon Nanomembrane

Silicon Nanomembrane
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.

Minimum credit: 

Shelly Scott, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Size: 

The sample imaged is 27 nm thick and a few cm wide.

Pixels: Width: 

1600

Pixels: Height: 

1200

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

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Liquid Crystal

Liquid Crystal
This is an optical microscope image of a liquid crystal (Cromlyn in water). The colors are created by molecular variations or changes in the crystal's thickness. Liquid crystals have properties of both liquids and solids: Although they can flow like a fluid, their molecules are highly ordered, like those found in solid crystals. The ubiquitous liquid crystal displays (LCDs) found in everything from watches to cell phones are made possible by devices that rapidly alter the structure of these substances—and therefore the way they interact with light.

Minimum credit: 

Gary Koenig, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This is a NISE Network product: 

no

Size: 

The sample is 350 µm wide.

Pixels: Width: 

1600

Pixels: Height: 

1200

Permissions:

This image was created by another institution, not the NISE Network. This image is available to NISE Network member organizations for non-profit educational use only. Uses may include but are not limited to reproduction and distribution of copies, creation of derivative works, and combination with other assets to create exhibitions, programs, publications, research, and Web sites. Minimum credit required.

Return to gallery