Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a microscopy technique whereby a beam of electrons is transmitted through an ultra-thin specimen, interacting with the specimen as it passes through. An image is formed from the interaction of the electrons transmitted through the specimen; the image is magnified and focused onto an imaging device.
TEMs are capable of imaging at a significantly higher resolution than light microscopes, which enables the instrument's user to examine fine detail—even as small as a single column of atoms.
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Figure: SEM image of a cross-section from a thin film opal template for the formation of multifunctional three-dimensionally ordered macroporous solids. [courtesy David McComb]