The researchers obtained the image using a technique called electron ptychography. Previously, electron ptychography had only been used to image extremely flat samples: those merely one to a few atoms thick. (That range is smaller than the length your fingernails grow in a minute but many times thicker than what electron ptychography could image in the past.) Meanwhile scientists kept finding ways to improve electron microscopes, which worked so well that electron ptychography could not keep up. To make this happen, engineers need to know what they are working with at an atomic level—which means taking advantage of technologies such as electron ptychography.