Some types of flowers are actually a composite of mini flowers grouped together. Each floweret has its own petals, pistil, stamens, and pollen. An individual floweret is examined in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) in this collection – from Macro to Micro. A 7th grade student in Boston collected this sample. The class remotely logged into the SEM to see the images of this and other samples they had sent to the lab. Each student came up with their own design for a new product in the human world based on the function of the micro adaptions they researched on their organisms. Nature is a storehouse of R&D that we can learn from and emulate. Nature has been developing innovative solutions since life first appeared on earth 3.8 billion years ago.
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The image store is a collection of organisms that have been examined under a stereo light microscope (LM) and or scanning electron microscope (SEM). Each group of organisms has a short description and a longer more detailed description or story about the organism. Clicking on the product group shows the individual images. Each series takes the observer from macro to micro or nano on a particular organism, starting with a macro photographic image(s) for perspective, micro images taken by the light microscope, and most have micro to nano scanning electron microscope images. The SEM images will appear in black and white as a beam of electrons is used to illuminate the specimen rather than light. A few SEM images are colorized (lotus leaf). More information about the labeling and techniques used is below.
For the curious:
The light microscope images are labeled LM and a Z is included if it is a vertical composite of images effectively extending the depth of field or EDF of the microscope.
SEM images are labeled by the type of detector use:
SE (secondary electron)
LSE (Low vacuum secondary electron)
BES (backscattered electron shadow mode)
BEC (backscattered electron compositional mode)
The SEM instrument works by producing a beam of electrons under a vacuum that interacts with the sample surface and subsurface producing different signals, as shown in the diagram at right. Secondary electrons, backscattered electrons and x-rays are detected using different instrument modes. In addition to morphological information to produce an image the SEM can determine elemental composition by energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS).
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