The NCSU Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) opened its doors to group of visiting middle- and high-school students and educators on April 25. As part of Nanodays 2014, professors and graduate students from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and AIF staff members introduced these guests to state-of-the-art instrumentation used to image materials at the nanometer length scale. A highlight of the afternoon included demonstrations on the extreme resolution scanning electron microscope, a recent addition to the AIF that was funded by the National Science Foundation (grant number 1337694). This instrument is used by a variety of researchers at NCSU and the triangle region to high-resolution (sub-nanometer) imaging of samples. One unique feature of this instrument is the ability to image materials that are non-conductive (insulating), including textile fibers and semiconductor materials for advanced electronics.
Coordinated by the NCSU Nanoscale Science Education Research Group, Nanodays annually attracts over 2000 top middle- and high- school science students, educators and parents across North Carolina to learn about cutting-edge nanoscience and nanotechnology research and applications.