Explore our 360 video highlighting the Ultra High Vacuum Transmission Electron Microscope lab at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. This is a materials science laboratory that allows scientists to record movies during the growth of objects that are far too small to see with a conventional optical microscope.
Explore the lab to see our team of scientists experiment with different elements and catalysts to grow tiny crystals, or nanowires, of silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide, and other materials inside the microscope. The microscope is powerful enough to see these nanowires as they grow, and movies can be recorded that show how the atoms add to the growing crystal one layer at a time. It is possible to influence the way the atoms stack up within each nanowire by altering the growth conditions, and this can help to build structures with different electrical properties.
Understanding what drives atoms to take up one arrangement versus another gives us a better chance of growing structures that have the particular electrical properties that are needed for nanodevices of the future.
Read more about “Farming at Nanoscale Dimensions”: