Center For Integrating Research and Learning

ArrowMaterials Under the Microscope

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These galleries are illustrated with beautiful photomicrographs (color photographs taken through an optical microscope) produced at the Magnet Lab. These are suited for adult readers and advanced high school students with a good grasp of electricity and magnetism and familiarity with other science concepts. For more examples of photomicrographs and information on how they are produced, please visit the extensive photo gallery on the Molecular Expressions Web site.

Lanthanum Aluminate
An explanation of this unique ceramic, including why it is of such great interest to scientists. Researchers use lanthanum aluminate to grow thin films of superconducting materials (including buckyballs) and hope it can one day be used to clean up radioactive waste.

Magnetic Thin Films
This gallery takes readers from the 1880s and the pioneering work of German physicist August Kundt, up to recent advances in technology, including interlayer exchange coupling (IEC) and giant magnetoresistance (GMR).

Metallic Superlattices
A look at superlattices (alternating layers of thin films deposited in an orderly manner), methods for forming them, and their applications.

Organic Superconductors
Organic superconductors, though still new to science, are lighter and more potentially versatile than inorganic superconductors and may have important applications in the future.

Superconducting Wire
Superconducting wire has great potential to distribute electricity with extreme efficiency. With the first generation of these wires now in use, researchers are focusing on an improved second generation. This gallery examines past and present research efforts.

An overview of the history, applications and science of superconductivity, including the Meissner effect, BCS theory, Type 1 and Type 2 superconductors and high-temperature superconductivity.

For more information, contact Michael Davidson at

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