Appalachian Microscopy and Nanoscience Outreach

Dr. Tonya Coffey

Thanks to funding from NASA via the NC Space Grant, I have established a mobile nanoscience laboratory outreach program in Western North Carolina that puts state-of-the-art technologies such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) directly in the hands of K-12 grade students and the general public.  Appalachian State University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy owns a portable, tabletop SEM (a Hitachi TM-3000) and a portable AFM (the Nanosurf Easyscan system).  My students and I travel to schools and outreach sites in Western NC to provide direct, hands-on experience with these cutting edge tools of nanoscience. The Hitachi TM3000 has a maximum magnification of 30,000X, and a wide variety of samples can be imaged. We have many samples already prepared for viewing, such as the amazing images below, and we can take requests as well. The TM3000 is very easy to use, click here to see a video of my 8 year old son operating it, looking at lice. If you're interested in having a site visit, email me at  

Want more info? Already scheduled a visit? Want to explore the powers of ten? Want to explore the scale of the universe? Want info about a STEM career?