Turkish nanotechnology company Nanomanyetik has begun selling a powerful microscope to the U.S. space agency NASA, the company's general director told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
Dr. Ahmet Oral, who also teaches physics at Middle East Technical University, said Nanomanyetik developed a microscope that is able to map surfaces on the nanometric and atomic levels, or extremely small particles.
The microscope has a wide range of uses for physics, chemistry, materials science and industrial engineering and is used by scientific research institutions
Oral said the company's customers are usually overseas firms and scientific research institutions. Nanomanyetik upgraded the microscope as part of a project supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) in the early 1990s.
Nanomanyetik's foreign customers are drawn to the microscope because of its higher quality yet cheaper price compared to its competitors.
"There are almost 30 firms doing this work," according to Oral. "Ten of them are active and we are among these active firms. Our aim is to be in the top three," he said, adding that Nanomanyetik jumps to the head of the line because of its after-sell service.
In addition to sales to NASA, the Ankara-based firm exports the microscope to Brazil, Chile, France, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland, South Korea and Spain.
Electronics giant Samsung is also a customer.
"Where does Samsung use this product? There are pixels in the smartphones' displays. These pixels are getting smaller each year. Now the smallest pixel is 15X10 microns," he said. Human hair is between 10 and 100 microns in diameter.
"They are figuring inner sides of pixels so that these pixels can operate much better. These patterns are on the nanometer level. They are using these microscopes to see the results of their works," Oral said.
Nanomanyetik's microscopes produces good quality, high resolution images and can even display an object's atoms and individual DNA fibers, according to Oral.