Safer Nanotech

Some tools of the trade: The blue box is a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring—QCM-D for short—with a close-up (in tweezers) of a QCM-D sensor. This extremely sensitive instrument allows scientists to measure on the order of 1 nanogram per square centimeter—about the equivalent, Pedersen says, of measuring 13–14 ants on a football field.

Photo by Sevie Kenyon