Seeing Nano: Using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to View Nano-size Objects

By Samantha Andrews

Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, GA

Published on


Nano-size objects are smaller than the wavelength of light and because of this they cannot be viewed with a light microscope.  Special tools are needed to see nanoscale objects, one of which is the scanning electron microscope. This activity will have students explore the types of images that can obtained using an SEM.


Developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology NNIN RET program

Sponsored by

This lesson was developed with support of the National Science Foundation, NNIN and the NNIN RET program

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Samantha Andrews (2016), "Seeing Nano: Using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to View Nano-size Objects,"

    BibTex | EndNote


Nancy Healy

NNCI Education and Outreach, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA


  1. scanning electron microscopy
  2. Nanoeducation
  3. k12 education
  4. high school physical science
  5. biology
  6. Physics
  7. General chemistry