Israeli Microscopic Breakthrough Could Be Big

Israeli Microscopic Breakthrough
An electron microscope (David J Morgan)

Scientists at the Technion say they have developed a new microscope more powerful than anything before it.

It is a quantum electron microscope, one of a new class known as “ultrafast,” that provides the clearest picture ever produced of light moving inside materials.

“It’s like the moment when we went from having cameras that could capture still images to also having the power to capture video,” Professor Ido Kaminer, inventor of the new microscope, told The Times of Israel.

Electron microscopes currently in use produce still images, or slow-moving images, while Kaminer’s offers what he calls a “movie view” of what is happening inside materials.

“It’s an electron microscope that takes us from frozen images or very slow frame rates to extremely fast motion, and this really opens doors, allowing us to improve the way we design technology, and helps us to push electronics to its fastest and most powerful,” he said.

An article describing experiments conducted with the new microscope has been published in the prestigious journal Nature.

“Now, we can see where current is going, where light is moving, and how temperature evolves,” he said. “Other electron microscopes can do this within certain limits. Almost all electron microscopes show you still images, or very slow images at 100 frames per second, while we have a million billion frames per second.

Kaminer said he is in talks with Intel about potential applications, and believes that it will enable the use of light, rather than electricity, to transfer data.

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