Difficulties with the study of the world at the level of individual atoms and molecules are connected not only with the fact that it’s all very very small, but with what is occurring in this world of phenomena and events occur very rapidly compared to events occurring on the larger scale level. And not so long ago researchers from the Tokyo University managed to capture on video the movement of individual molecules using new technology shooting, speed which is 1600 fps, according to dailytechinfo.org.
When it comes to the usual static images, the image quality is determined only by resolution of the matrix used by the camera. When it comes to the video, the video quality, in addition to the resolution of the camera, is determined and a frame rate, or the time required for the camera to form one frame. Naturally, the more speed the more rapid processes can be captured in this video.
Conventional transmission electron microscopy (Transmission electron microscopy, TEM) provides excellent spatial resolution, however, its speed characteristics leave much to be desired. Scientists have tried to withdraw the motion of atoms by using TEM, but the maximum shooting speed, which they managed to obtain, was only 16 frames per second. Quite naturally, when this video was completely skipped all of the interesting events that occur at the level of atoms and molecules in hundredths or even thousandths of a second.
In their new research by Japanese scientists have added TEM microscope special DED-camera (Direct Electron Detection), able to shoot at a rate of 1600 frames per second, 100 times faster than it could do standard sensor TEM microscope. Unfortunately, the scientists immediately stood up, the problem is the high noise level of high-speed electronic sensor. And this problem managed to be solved only by mathematically processing the video with the help of specialized algorithms.
“For high-speed photography need a sensor with a high sensitivity. This, unfortunately, also means higher noise” – the researchers write, – “noise is an inevitable negative side any electronics. To compensate for these noises and getting definition video we used the elimination algorithm of Chambolle noise denoising. You probably have not heard of this, although it is widely used to improve the quality of the video broadcast on the Internet.”
Characters recorded videos are of the fullerene molecule (bacisally), consisting of 60 carbon atoms forming a sphere resembling a soccer ball. In the video, these spherical molecules move and collide with the inner wall surface of the carbon nanotubes, which this vibrates.
The new technology of video would be quite useful to monitor what is happening on the atomic level. However, the processing of the removed information can be carried out only after the shooting is complete and it is, this processing takes a long time. The use of this technology in real time will be possible only in the future, when computers will gain sufficient for such a task processing power.