This cylinder may prove crucial to the vehicles of the future, just so long as we can pinpoint its atomic structure.
That rotating GIF is a 3D reconstruction of a solid oxide fuel cell, featuring billionth-of-a-meter details about the multilayer structure. While you marvel at those little textures, just consider that the entire cylinder is just about 35 micrometers in diameter — the average human hair is more than three times as wide!
We worked with scientists at Northwestern University to reveal these unprecedented details using a technique called transmission x-ray tomography.
The nanoscale structures of this material help explain its performance and point to new and improved architectures. And get this: Once our next-generation National Synchrotron Light Source II comes online, we’ll take that image resolution down to a single nanometer and while watching energetic reactions in real time.