Over at the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), researchers have developed a special scanning electron microscope (SEM) capable of generating high-resolution 3D images of the study subject. 3D SEM is actually not new technology, however, the JST SEM is the first device of its kind that can show 3D images in real-time. The secret is a special electromagnetic lens that slants an electron beam aimed at a specimen, which results in instant left and right parallax images needed to create a 3D effect. Normal 3D SEM imaging techniques require the left and right parallax images to be taken separately and at different angles.
If you have a pair of red/blue 3D glasses, be sure to take a look at the above anaglyph of a piece of metal, produced by the JST SEM.
Researchers hope that this new method of microscopy will not only allow for better study of a specimen’s structure, but also for exploring microanatomy and measuring the specimen’s electrical characteristics.
This might actually be a 3D technology worth shelling out a few extra dollars!