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The dynamic transmission electron microscope

This is Science Today. Electron microscopes have been around for decades and have a tremendous ability to look at a material's microstructure and see dislocations that control a material's properties. Now, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have gone a step beyond in their development of the Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope. Scientist Geoffrey Campbell explains.

Campbell:       When we're looking at high magnification, we're looking at very small things and because those distances are small, changes happen really quickly. So, what we've done with this new microscope is to create a new type of electron source that illuminates the specimen with electrons for just a very short period of time, but a very intense beam of electrons. So, it's sort of like a stop action photography, if you will.

Narrator:        This can be used to examine the strength of aluminum alloys, such as those used to build airplanes.

Campbell:       Our microcope is essentially the first of its kind that can form defraction contrast images where you can actually see these features like dislocations.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.