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October 23rd, 2008

Canadian center gets ‘most advanced’ microscope

Published on October 23rd, 2008 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

They say the resolution for this electron microscope is like the Hubble telescope aimed at the atomic level:

“We are the first university in the world with a microscope of such a high caliber,” says Gianluigi Botton, director of the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy, professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and the project’s leader. “The resolution of the Titan 80-300 Cubed microscope is remarkable . . .  With this microscope we can now easily identify atoms, measure their chemical state and even probe the electrons that bind them together.”

The microscope is so sensitive that the act of breathing could disrupt its operation. This sensitivity requires that the equipment be housed in a special ultra-stable, isolated facility. Operators work in a remote room. The $15 million tool was build by Netherlands-based FEI, and the center hopes it will facilitate energy and other commercial research. According to a press release:

The microscope will be used to help produce more efficient lighting and better solar cells, study proteins and drug-delivery materials to target cancers. It will assess atmospheric particulates, and help create lighter and stronger automotive materials, more effective cosmetics, and higher density memory storage for faster electronic and telecommunication devices.


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