Engineers create 3D microscope lens

It can see the tiny elephants in your ear .

The ability to view tiny images in the third D has been made possible by Lei Li and Allen Yi of Ohio State University. The two have crafted a one-of-a-kind 3D lens that, unlike other three-dimensional microscopes that capture images by circling around the subject, sees teeny objects while stationary. Although the engineers crafted the lens on a precision cutting machine using a diamond blade themselves, they say it can be produced using traditional molding methods. At the size of a fingernail, the thermoplastic material, aka acrylic glass, was cut with 10 nanometer spacing (that’s tiny) to ensure a flat plane. The top is surrounded by eight facets — sort of like a gem stone, but not symmetric — allowing the viewer to see 9 different angles at once.

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