TEM pictures worth spreading

AP PCdust 005

Introduction for scientists: The transmission electron microscopy is a technique that uses an electron beam passing through a thin layer of sample. 
Introduction for others: check wikipedia page on TEM
Introduction for lazy bastards: TEM is a huuuuuuuge microscope.

If you are lucky enough to work in a university with a TEM facility you know how amazing these pictures are. I was working with liposomes for years, I knew how to make/purify them, how to check the size with DLS, how to load them and so on. But I never saw them. The first time I saw them with the (cryo)TEM it was simply amazing.
However it doesn’t matter how amazing your TEM pictures are, most of the time you cannot publish them. And you end up with folder full of amazing pictures that the world will never see. I would say that more than 95% of the TEM pictures are not going to be published. You just put one or two pictures on the paper and that’s it.

So, what to do with the rest of the pictures?
1 A classical example is to use them as Rorschach test in the lab. You can easily spot how many serial killers work in a chemistry department. 
2 Another use for these picture is to predict the future. I cannot see how you can read the future from a cup of coffee and not from a negative stained nano particles. Take a picture of your sample and bring it to the first fortune-teller in the department. Note that usually your boss is not a fortune-teller.  
3 Color them and go to an art gallery. You never know…. 

Anyway, here an amazing set of TEM pictures (courtesy of Mathieu, our best nanographer in the lab):


duckThis is clearly a nanoDuck.


sunrise Sunrise in the nano world. 


Tem3So Long and Thanks for all the Fish.




Tem6Either Goku or a nanosaur footprint.


Tem7This is a nano colony, you can see the river, and the small villages growing nearby.


Tem8Stare at this picture for 87 minutes and you will see something amazing. Or you will just go crazy. 


Tem10This is clearly a nanoAK47.


Tem11Traveling on a nano-boat. It will take ages for moving a couple of millimeters.


Tem13Flying brains (do you remember that Futurama episode?)


Tem14Apparently we have also some nano writerz. That’s their tag. Respect!


Tem15Hasta la nanovictoria! Siempre!


Tem16This is scary and could be the cover of some dark comics. Can you see the little creep girl watching at you? And imagine that the TEM room is a super dark room….


Tem19Finally some liposomes face.


Tem20The nano scream. 


Stay tuned for more amazing nano shots.  




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  1. Pingback: First post-doc almost done (10 days to go) | Labsolutely

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