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All done with mirrors: NIST microscope tracks nanoparticles in 3-D
Date:3/10/2008

e well act as mirrors to reflect side views of the volume up to the microscope at the same time as the top view. (The typical sample well is 20 microns square and 15 microns deep.) The microscope sees each particle twice, one image in the horizontal plane and one in the vertical. Because the two planes have one dimension in common, its a simple calculation to correlate the two and figure out each particles 3-D path. Basically, we reduce the problem of tracking in 3-D to the problem of tracking in 2-D twice, explains lead author Matthew McMahon.

The 2-D problem is simpler to solveseveral software techniques can calculate and track 2-D position to better than 10 nanometers. Measuring the nanoparticle motion at that fine scalespeeds, diffusion and the likewill allow researchers to calculate the forces acting on the particles and better understand the basic rules of interaction between the various components. That in turn will allow better design and control of nanoparticle assembly processes.


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Contact: Michael Baum
michael.baum@nist.gov
301-975-2763
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

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All done with mirrors: NIST microscope tracks nanoparticles in 3-D
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