All the images are produced by a scanning electron microscope (SEM), which uses a high electron beam to scan the surface of a specimen. Secondary electrons are emitted from the surface, gathered by a detector and projected onto a screen, building up a spectacular black and white image. The microscope reveals details of less than 1 nanometer in size and magnifies from 5 to 500,000 times. Colour is added digitally. View a slideshow. See the slideshow.