Pollen and Rose

Perhaps it is hard to imagine something so tiny. In the Physics Department at the University of British Columbia, we are in the process of fabricating lasers with features thousands of times smaller than a human hair. These lasers are useful for studyin g basic physics as well as improving the speed of optical communication. In order to make these lasers, which have features smaller than the wavelength of visible light, we use electron-beam lithography (forming patterns using an electron-beam). The lin es defining the rose pattern, which are five hundred times smaller than human hair, illustrate the features obtainable by this lithography technique. In order to give a perspective of how small the rose is, we placed a pollen in the vicinity of the rose pattern. This placement was achieved by the use of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) which fits inside a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The STM tip was used to position the pollen close to the rose pattern while viewing both through the SEM. Fin ally, the SEM was used to take this picture of the pollen and the rose pattern composite.

Manoj Kanskar
UBC Physics
Category 1 (Open)

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