The cobalt atom is an incredibly versatile element, and one that could make electronics obsolete.
The element has been a key component of electronics for decades, but until recently, there was no one to design and manufacture a practical electron microscope.
Now, a team of researchers is hoping to build a real electron microscope by using a super-strong alloy of cobalt and copper.
In a paper published on the arXiv.org preprint server on Thursday, researchers describe a new type of super-high-temperature electron microscope that is designed to fit into a standard electron microscope cabinet.
They envision it could be used to design new types of microscopes, such as ones that would be able to read data from the human body and then interpret it for diagnostic purposes.
The cobalon-copper alloy is made up of a mixture of iron, nickel, and cobalt.
The alloy has the strength to hold up to 1.8 million electron volts, or more than 10 times the current in the United States’ national electrical grid.
It’s about five times stronger than titanium.
The team says the alloy could also be used for high-density solar cells, and is promising applications in nanotechnology and medicine.
“With a large enough surface area, the alloy will allow us to make extremely fine-grained measurements at the atomic scale, where they’re not possible using conventional microscopes,” says Jens Hübner, a researcher at the University of Hamburg in Germany.
The research team first proposed the cobalt-copperside in 2009, and then improved the alloy in 2013.
“It’s the best way to use cobalt, but we’re still not 100 percent sure how it will work,” says Peter Düsseler, an expert in electron microscopy at the Max Planck Institute for Nanoscience in Darmstadt, Germany, who was not involved in the new research.
“We have to make sure that it will be safe for use on human cells.
This is the first step toward making it into a viable practical tool.”
The cobahtzonside has been used to create other kinds of super high-temperatures, but none has been practical.
The new alloy was designed with the goal of being light, portable, and extremely stable.
It can withstand temperatures up to 10 million degrees Celsius.
The scientists also plan to use the alloy to make an electron microscope in a few years.
“The real key is that the material is strong enough that it can be mass produced, but it’s also stable enough that you can easily transport it around,” Hübrner says.
He adds that the new alloy is also able to withstand high temperatures without damaging the surface.
The next step is to determine how well it will perform in the real world.
The researchers plan to start testing the new material next year.
“I’m very excited by this research because it gives us the ability to create a high-performance electron microscope with high surface area that will be easy to use for applications such as in the field of nanotechnology,” Düssseler says.
“This is a great opportunity for us to see what’s possible with this technology.”