Visualizing Chemistry

Get the Picture?


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Based on the 2006 report entitled Visualizing Chemistry described above, this poster is designed to expose introductory undergraduate chemistry students to some of the advanced chemical imaging techniques used by researchers today. Some techniques highlighted in the poster include scanning transmission electron microscopy, x-ray tomography, nanolithography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Eye-catching images with short, descriptive captions provide an overview of the techniques and their application to materials, medical diagnostics, microelectronics, cellular processes, and development of energy technologies. Support for this poster was provided by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Naval Research Laboratory, 3M, Amgen, Inc., Air Products and Chemical Inc., DuPont, The Dow Chemical Co., Rohm and Haas Co., and the President's Circle of the National Academies.

To request copies of the poster, please contact National Academies Press.

Click here to view the C&E News coverage of the poster.

Visualizing Chemistry: The Progress and Promise of Advanced Chemical Imaging

Scientists and engineers have long relied on the power of imaging techniques to help see objects invisible to the naked eye, and thus, to advance scientific knowledge. These experts are constantly pushing the limits of technology in pursuit of chemical imaging--the ability to visualize molecular structures and chemical composition in time and space as actual events unfold--from the smallest dimension of a biological system to the widest expanse of a distant galaxy. Chemical imaging has a variety of applications for almost every facet of our daily lives, ranging from medical diagnosis and treatment to the study and design of material properties in new products. To continue receiving benefits from these technologies, sustained efforts are needed to facilitate understanding and manipulation of complex chemical structures and processes. By linking technological advances in chemical imaging with a science-based approach to using these new capabilities, it is likely that fundamental breakthroughs in our understanding of basic chemical processes in biology, the environment, and human creations will be achieved. This report reviews the current state of chemical imaging technology, identifies promising future developments and their applications, and suggests a research and educational agenda to enable breakthrough improvements.

Copies of Visualizing Chemistry can be ordered through National Academies Press.