The microscope revolution that’s sweeping through materials science

Technological advances are transforming what researchers can study at the atomic scale.
Muller’s images represent the latest of a burst of technological advances that are triggering a revolution in what researchers can probe using transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) — devices as tall as a room that send beams of electrons through samples to explore structures down to a size scale smaller than an atom. The machines promise to give scientists the ability to see details previously out of reach, from the structure of fragile next-generation electronics materials, to the innards of porous substances that can separate gases.

Nature News Feature