Get access

The Invention of Immersion Ultramicroscopy in 1912—The Birth of Nanotechnology?


  • T.M. thanks Dr. Olaf Medenbach (Witten, Germany) for donating the illustrated immersion ultramicroscope to and Volker Vyskocil (Nettetal, Germany) for helping to locate and purchase the equipment for slit ultramicroscopy from the laboratories of the former Dynamit-Nobel AG in Troisdorf (Germany).


original image

Dawn of nanotechnology: The immersion ultramicroscope was patented a century ago. When an analyte was examined with an antique instrument and with state-of-the-art technology, the historic assumptions were confirmed: the size and shape of the nanoparticles are in the same range as that described 100 years ago. The spectra of the Tyndall cones caused by the shape of the nanoparticles were also described correctly—long before electron microscopy was able to image single nanoparticles.