He is only 20 microns in size, a cap pulled over his eyes, a long beard, and on holds his shoulder a mysterious ring looking exactly like a fragment of the grapheme structure. We are talking about a small dwarf who settled on a grain of sand in Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+.
The Laboratory of Electron Microscopy in Wroclaw Research Centre EIT +, where the dwarf hides, on a daily basis performs specialized materials analyses of, among other things, minerals, post-production materials and semi-finished products.
Equipped with the most modern electron microscopes, SEM, which help to examine composition, porosity, size, shape and arrangement of the grains in the material or substance, the laboratory could also see the smallest Wroclaw dwarf.
‘Wroclaw is a magical place and, as we all know, for a long time it has been a place of dwarfs. This is why the smallest dwarf in the world could not settle anywhere else.’ – comments Klaudia Piątek, representative for the media relations in Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+.
Such potential can be used when analyzing the morphology of samples and determining their elemental composition. It is also applicable in automated mineralogy used, for example, in the extraction industry.
‘The smallest Wroclaw dwarf is a way to present the technical capabilities of the Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+ microscopes. Scanning electron microscopes (SEM) allow us to distinguish even between objects that are about 1000 times smaller than this dwarf.’ – says D.Eng. Katarzyna Komorowska, Head of Laboratory of Nanotechnology end Semiconductor Structures at Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+.
The image of the dwarf on a grain of sand was created using an ion beam, which allows removal of material with great precision. This technique is used by the Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+, among others, to create miniature optical components (e.g. diffraction gratings, lenses), to verify and modify the structures and the materials produced, precisely cut the material to analyze its volume (e.g. verification of bonds, thickness of layers and defects) and to produce ultra-thin samples which would be used in other high-precision analyses.
‘Pracze Campus, part of the Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+ is a special place, which, not only thanks to the latest research infrastructure but also by its climate and atmosphere, inspires research and creates conditions appropriate for taking up creative challenges. The smallest dwarf in Wroclaw, and maybe even in the world, will therefore be an excellent guardian of our scientific struggles.’ – highlights Klaudia Piątek.
The smallest dwarf in the world so far was not presented to the public. First of all, the dwarf needs a name, and therefore the Wroclaw Research Centre EIT+ is announcing a competition to name its charge.
Your offers are welcomed. Please write to mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org until August 31. The author of the most interesting proposition will receive a grain of sand with the image of the dwarf and will be given the opportunity to see him under a microscope in the EIT + laboratory.
The results of the competition will be announced on September 1 on: www.eitplus.pl.