FSU engages researchers in a different kind of ‘small talk’

Scientists from across the country gathered in Tallahassee to engage in a different kind of small talk — the kind that involves peering into the atomic world to look at things magnified 40- to 100-million times their actual size through the use of a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM).

Officially referred to as “Celebrating FSU’s JEM-ARM200cF,” the two-day conference focused on an amazing piece of equipment housed at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory that allows researchers to study substances at a molecular level by transmitting beams of electrons through extremely thin specimens. In fact, the TEM is so strong that its magnification power would be like standing on the Earth and being able to see a dime on the surface of the moon.

FSU researchers are using the TEM in a variety of research projects, with many focusing on the structure and functionality of materials. Using this advanced microscope, these researchers are analyzing things like superconducting materials, which allow electricity to flow without any resistance, to find and investigate flaws. Better understanding of these types of materials could lead to future breakthroughs in areas like computer chip manufacturing and nanotechnology.

“The JEM-ARM200cF microscope is a hallmark piece of research equipment that has helped FSU stay at the forefront of materials research,” Yan Xin, an associate scholar/scientist at the MagLab said. “The things we are able to see and uncover with the TEM are remarkable, and are moving us in scientific directions we could not have imagined.”

To learn more about this unique piece of equipment and its amazing capabilities, visit http://www.research.fsu.edu/tem/index.html.