Structure Survey of Different Flower Pollens

Xiaoyu Du, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Rochester


Say goodbye to Rochester's winter, possibly the coldest in recent decades, and embrace the coming spring. Grass turns green and flowers bloom. For me, spring is an awesome season but for some people, it might not be quite pleasant. Airborne particles, especially the flower pollens floating in the air, make some people sneeze a lot.

The pollens could range from six micron to a hundred micron in diameter. It means that the diameter of most pollens will be smaller than the diameter of your hair. It is almost impossible to observe through naked eyes. Even with light microscope, it is still not an easy task because some structures are really very tiny.

Thanks to the modern technology, we have scanning electron microscope (SEM) that are very much capable to do the observation task. It provides clear details, good depth of field, big magnification----over all, it generates great images!

So, in this project, you will see a lot of images of different pollens that I could get from here and also somewhere else. You will see how beautiful the pollens are as well as the really tiny structures on their surfaces. Nature is amazing that no man-made thing could be as good as that.

Techniques Used

·  Sputter Coating;

·  Critical Point Drying;

·  Secondary Electron Image;

·  X-ray Characterization;

·  Colorization;

·  Colorize Using Two Detectors Information;

·  Stereo Pair Generation;

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