Scientists Correct Microscope "Vision Problems"

February 05, 1997

Faulty human eyesight can be corrected with glasses, but it's a different matter to fix vision problems that afflict instruments used by scientists who explore the microcosmos. Two Oregon scientists conducting research with National Science Foundation (NSF)-support, however, have found a way to do it. As with many problems in human eyesight, the culprit in the world of microscopes is the lens.

In devices such as electron microscopes that display highly magnified images of specimens, a beam of electrons passes through a focusing lens. In doing so, the beam suffers two kinds of distortions: chromatic and spherical. These aberrations limit the devices' resolving power.

"But now we have developed a new tool to correct the aberrations," says O. Hayes Griffith, a University of Oregon scientist who collaborated on the investigation with Portland State University physicist Gertrude Rempfer. It was supported by NSF's division of biological infrastructure. Griffith, Rempfer and an interdisciplinary team of Oregon scientists used an electron mirror to cancel the unwanted aberrations caused by the lens.

The improvement, described in the January/February issue of Microscopy and Microanalysis, will lead to practical applications such as reduced size for miniature electron probes and greater resolving power for instruments designed for use in the world of the very small.

"The most immediate application will be to emission electron microscopes, particularly those that will be built to equip new synchrotron light source facilities such as the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley and the Photon Factory in Japan," Griffith says. "These multimillion-dollar ring-shaped particle accelerators produce high intensity light. This light is used to study properties of surfaces. Improved electron optics are necessary to realize the full potential of the synchrotron facilities."

Scientists believe the increased intensity of a synchrotron light source provides new opportunities to study silicon, polymer, biological and catalytic surfaces.

National Science Foundation

Related Light Articles from Brightsurf:

Light from rare earth: new opportunities for organic light-emitting diodes
Efficient and stable blue OLED is still a challenge due to the lack of emitter simultaneously with high efficiency and short excited-state lifetime.

Guiding light: Skoltech technology puts a light-painting drone at your fingertips
Skoltech researchers have designed and developed an interface that allows a user to direct a small drone to light-paint patterns or letters through hand gestures.

Painting with light: Novel nanopillars precisely control intensity of transmitted light
By shining white light on a glass slide stippled with millions of tiny titanium dioxide pillars, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their collaborators have reproduced with astonishing fidelity the luminous hues and subtle shadings of 'Girl With a Pearl Earring.'

Seeing the light: Researchers combine technologies for better light control
A new technology that can allow for better light control without requiring large, difficult-to-integrate materials and structures has been developed by Penn State researchers.

A different slant of light
Giant clams manipulate light to assist their symbiotic partner.

New light for plants
Scientists from ITMO in collaboration with their colleagues from Tomsk Polytechnic University came up with an idea to create light sources from ceramics with the addition of chrome: the light from such lamps offers not just red but also infrared (IR) light, which is expected to have a positive effect on plants' growth.

Scientists use light to accelerate supercurrents, access forbidden light, quantum world
Iowa State's Jigang Wang continues to explore using light waves to accelerate supercurrents to access the unique and potentially useful properties of the quantum world.

The power of light
As COVID-19 continues to ravage global populations, the world is singularly focused on finding ways to battle the novel coronavirus.

Seeing the light: MSU research finds new way novae light up the sky
An international team of astronomers from 40 institutes across 17 countries found that shocks cause most the brightness in novae.

Seeing the light: Astronomers find new way novae light up the sky
An international team of researchers, in a paper published today in Nature Astronomy, highlights a new way novae light up the sky: this is shocks from explosions that create the novae that cause most of the their brightness.

Read More: Light News and Light Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to