The development of new micros copy techniques has historically always added a new dimension of information to the existing knowledge. Thus the phase contrast microscope opened up the study of transparent objects, the electron microscope gave access to superfine structure, the scanning electron beam microscope added a three-dimensional aspect, etc. In view of these historical precedents it is tempting to predict that a similar dimensional breakthrough will be initiated by the acoustic microscope. It is not easy, however, to specify exactly what this new dimension will be. The most one can say is that it will have to do with revealing mechanical structure, (e.g. bonding, polymerization, elasticity, density, viscosity) rather than the electronic structure (band transitions, free carriers, excitons, etc.) indirectly observed by the optical microscope. Yet many optical and mechanical properties are intimately coupled and thus it may well be that in many cases the new dimension of acoustic microscopy will be more quantitative than qualitative in nature. Frequently this quantitative difference between optical and acoustic properties is very pronounced.
KeywordsSound Field Acoustic Image Knife Edge Acoustic Frequency Acoustic Microscopy
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