CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAUS LUNAU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scanning electron microscope (SEM), computer artwork. An SEM uses an electron beam (vertical yellow line) to obtain a three-dimensional image of an object at magnifications much higher than can be obtained using light waves. The beam is scanned over the sample (bottom left) in a vacuum, causing the emission of secondary electrons (diagonal yellow line). These secondary electrons are detected and used to form the image, which is displayed here on a screen.
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