Tuesday, June 28, 2005

VIEWING IMAGE UNDER SEM

Using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), we were able to observe the results of the aluminum membrane synthesis. The images clearly show that the pores formed and that the anodizations went smoothly. However, we were unable to conclude whether our "radial" experiment worked. Since the sample is so large on a nanoscale, we could not find a specific area of the sample to examine whether the current density and pore size decreased radially as predicted. With more time with the microscope and careful planning prior to that, I think we will be able to later determine more accurate results of our experiment. We did notice that there were smaller pores within the larger ones, similar to the results often seen by applying different voltages to each separate anodization. However, again, our main objective to determine whether current density and pore size decreased radially was not determined conclusively. I think there is an important lesson to be learned here. Time with the SEM is limited and costly. I think careful preparation of the sample prior to microscope use is very important. I think that we should have developed a means of marking the area of the membrane where we targeted the 508 micron stainless steel wire. That way, we would not need to spend relative any time in trying to determine the area perpendicular to the anodization, which could be timely on a nanoscale. Below are two of the images taken from the SEM of the membrane:




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