Two new high-resolution transmission electron microscopes, co-financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), are set to open up new opportunities for research in physics and materials science. The new research microscopes at RWTH Aachen University and the University of Ulm will enable exceptional, state-of-the-art developments in the field of electron optics in Germany and be available to a broad group of users.
“With these new microscopes, Germany has the great opportunity to stay right at the cutting edge of electron microscopy,” said Burkhard Jahnen, who is responsible for projects in materials science, engineering and electron microscopy at the DFG’s Head Office. Thanks to these state-of-the-art microscopes it will not only be possible to study new materials at higher resolution in the future, for example for research in the fields of energy or information and communication technology, it will also open up an entirely new field of materials science that has been impossible to study to date with existing electron-optical techniques.
The “PICO” (Advanced Picometer Resolution Project) microscope, which has been approved for the RWTH Aachen, will extend the resolution that can be achieved by electron microscopes to a hitherto unimaginable scale. It will be the first microscope in the world to be capable of detecting the position of atoms to a resolution of 50 picometers – one picometer is one hundredth of the diameter of an atom – thus doubling the performance of the current generation of electron microscopes. This will not only make it possible to see individual atoms, but also to measure the interatomic distance and atomic motion to an accuracy of approximately one picometer. At the same time, it will be possible to investigate the nature of the atoms by spectroscopic analysis and study their chemical bonds.
The DFG is providing 2.5 million euros in funding for the PICO project, which will cost approximately 15 million euros in total, which will be matched by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) will provide funding for additional components for the microscope and finance some of the required building work. The new microscope will be located at the Ernst Ruska Centre (ER-C) for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons, which is operated by the RWTH Aachen and the Jülich Research Centre. The ER-C is one of the leading international research centres in the field of ultra-high resolution electron microscopy.
The resolution of the SALVE (Sub-Ångstrøm Low Voltage Transmission Electron Microscopy) project’s low-voltage transmission electron microscope at the University of Ulm poses a serious challenge to researchers. The main focus of this five-year project is on imaging individual atoms in materials for applications in nanotechnology that are sensitive to the energy of the electron beam that would quickly be destroyed in conventional electron microscopy. The project plans to use low acceleration voltages that have barely been used in practice in electron microscopes to date, while simultaneously applying state-of-the-art electron-optical methods.
This new microscope will make it possible to reveal molecular structures and follow molecular processes, allowing researchers to unlock the secrets of chemical reactions. The DFG is providing 4.2 million euros in funding for the project, which will cost approximately 11.5 million euros in total, while the state of Baden-Württemberg will provide 2.4 million euros and a further 3.7 million euros, including an endowed chair, will be funded by Carl Zeiss AG from Oberkochen.
Jutta Hoehn | alfa
Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State
What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy