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
Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences