Researchers at UC Riverside have developed a veritable “magic wand” for taking color photos at the nanometer scale. Composed of a silver nanowire, it uses compressed light to exceed the limits of optical microscopes.
Nanotechnology is so small that it is impossible to see the details. Even with the best, the resolution is limited to several hundred nanometers because of the . It is necessary to use other methods such as the scanning tunneling microscope, which is why the are always photographed in gray.
Pixels of just six nanometers
The light comes from a lampwith a filament in . It is then compressed into a on with almost no nor reflection. The light is guided to the tip of the which measures five nanometers, then is projected in the shape of and crosses the object to be photographed. The transmission and scattering are then measured to create a color pixel six nanometers in size. By scanning the area, the researchers thus manage to constitute a color photo.
Such a device can have important repercussions for nanotechnology. For example, it will make it possible to examine the surface of, or the electronic circuits which are currently engraved at the nanometer scale in the . The possibility of obtaining color images could also inform the understanding of scientists in many other fields such as or quantum optics.