A new way to magnify the view

Posted by
On September 12, 2008

Missouri S&T has a new research toy – a focused ion beam (FIB) scanning electron microscope that is capable of shrinking images of objects a million times and then etching them on the head of a pin.

The piece of equipment, which cost more than $1 million, was purchased through Missouri S&T’s Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies with funds made available by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. Missouri S&T is the first university in the state to have its own FIB microscope.

Missouri S&T researchers plan to use the FIB machine to see nano-scale changes in metals that have been stressed and to make tiny images of ancient bacteria that are trapped in salt crystals.

 ScottMiller-FIB

F. Scott Miller and Missouri S&T’s new million-dollar microscope. Photo by B.A. Rupert

“One of the biggest advantages is that we’re used to looking at only the outer surfaces of materials,” says F. Scott Miller, PhD MetE’99, associate professor of materials science and engineering. “We now have the ability to look deeper and deeper into a sample. It’s like peeling the layers of an onion.”

Miller recently illustrated the FIB machine’s capabilities by reproducing Missouri S&T’s new logo near the eye of a sewing needle. Miller was able to etch a microscopic replica of the logo into the needle’s surface.

mm
Posted by

On September 12, 2008. Posted in Fall 2008, Research

Recent Posts

Celebrating 150 Years

Celebrating 150 Years

From hardscrabble, “country academy” roots, how we became a global research university Rolla in [...]
Innovation, the Rolla way

Innovation, the Rolla way

Since our founding, S&T and innovation have been tightly connected. From advances in materials,[...]
Keeping history alive

Keeping history alive

Several authors have written history books about S&T, but no tome can contain all the informati[...]
New book chronicles university's history

New book chronicles university's history

Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, [...]
What lies ahead for S&T's next 150 years?

What lies ahead for S&T's next 150 years?

 As Missouri S&T launches its 150th anniversary celebration, the world continues to recove[...]