News Feature
December 17, 2010
By Steve Barlow

Taking the No-No out of Nano

Our first undergraduate trainee seated at the new microscope
Our first undergraduate trainee!

The Electron Microscopy Facility, in the Physical Sciences building, was recently awarded $708,000 from the National Science Foundation to acquire a new scanning electron microscope (SEM) that can take the no-no out of nano and make supersized images of miniscule objects.The grant funded a multidisciplinary proposal, co-authored by researchers from the Departments of Geology and Biology, along with members of the SDSU School of Engineering, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Leonardo DaVinci Health Science Charter School (K-6), and the Department of Engineering at CSU-San Jose.

Dr. Paul Etzel and
The culprit for this summer's green tide, Tetraselmis

This new field emission SEM, a Quanta 450 designed and manufactured by FEI, includes a number of accessories that dramatically expand SDSU’s research capabilities.

For undergraduate and graduate students, the computer controls make the SEM as easy to use as a video game; the improved resolution enables researchers working on nano-technology samples to better image their nano-sized samples; new detectors increase the kinds of data researchers can collect about the chemistry and morphology of their samples; and users from research laboratories at other CSU campuses who don’t have such an advanced microscope, or local K-12 students, can view their samples in the new microscope using remote access via the world wide web.

Dr. Paul Etzel and
A common diatom

All in all, this acquisition represents an impressive upgrade for SDSU.

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