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Open Source Scanning Tunneling Microscope
Let’s say you’re an average Joe evil genius trying to make a sentient nanoswarm in your underground lair. How do you see the little guys to prove you’ve succeeded? Or troubleshoot in the unlikely case of failure? Traditionally, you’d need a $30,000 microscope to accomplish that task.
Enter the Chicago Awesome Foundation’s October grantee, Sacha De’Angeli, and his Open Source Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) project. Sacha wants to produce an easy to assemble digital scanning-tunneling microscope with well documented software and hardware designs for a complete cost of $1000.
For those of you who are not up to date on the latest in evil genius basement technology, Wikipedia explains: “A scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is an instrument for imaging surfaces at the atomic level. … For an STM, good resolution is considered to be 0.1 nm lateral resolution and 0.01 nm depth resolution. With this resolution, individual atoms within materials are routinely imaged and manipulated.”
Since both the software and the hardware designs for the microscope with be made available to the public, any high school science club with $1000 will be able to replicate Sacha’s microscope. Now if that isn’t awesome, we don’t know what is!
Chicago Awesome Foundation Grant Winner October 2011
Application received: Aug. 4, 2011
Funding decision: Oct. 15, 2011
Grant dispersed: Nov. 8, 2011