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Ett mångfacetterat verktyg för framtidens elektronmikroskopi

Diarienummer
ITM17-0301
Projektledare
Tai, Cheuk-Wai
Start- och slutdatum
190101-211231
Beviljat belopp
7 998 920 kr
Förvaltande organisation
Stockholm University
Forskningsområde
Materialvetenskap och materialteknologier

Summary

Innovation in research is driven by inventive method development. Our aim is to continue in this spirit by developing a toolkit which will enable high throughput, high precision scanning and multidimensional experiments on existing transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) for materials and life science research across Sweden and around the world. We identify three main challenges in electron microscopy: 1) precise movement and rotation of the specimen; 2) accurate and customisable electron beam scanning; and 3) selective acquisition of desirable signals. We intend to achieve this in the three work packages that focus on developing new instrumentation, techniques and methods. WP1 involves the construction of a TEM specimen holder for fast and precise 3D data collection. WP2 details the implementation of a control unit to manipulate the electron beam and synchronize the detectors for the acquisition of scanning electron scattering signals (both Bragg diffraction and diffuse scattering). WP3 realizes a hardware-based solution to acquire momentum-resolved scanning transmission electron microscopy-electron energy loss spectroscopy (STEM-EELS). Our innovative architecture will add extra capability to TEMs in terms of imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy in a cost-effective way. It will also provide customizability through a flexible framework connecting a wide range of modern and future novel experimental devices.

Populärvetenskaplig beskrivning

In our daily life, we use many different kinds of devices, appliances and goods, e.g. computers, kitchen knives, and pharmaceutical drugs. These are all manufactured and designed such that their form, materials selection, and processing are all seriously considered. Research helps to guide the design and tailor the functional properties of these products. The results from modern research often relate to the discovery of new phenomena and the development of new multifunctional artificial materials and devices. Miniaturization, as one example, has resulted in the amazing development of ever faster and more powerful computers. Even a tiny change of atomic positions or composition can dramatically change the properties and hence the performance of the device or the function of the drug. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 was awarded for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes. This new light source consists of a number of artificial materials and emits light as a result of a quantum mechanics process. Also, the Nobel prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded for the development of cryo-electron microscopy for structure determination of biomolecules. This powerful technique helps to make and improve drugs to fight with different diseases or cancer. These kinds of complex structures are already changing our daily life. In order to develop materials in the future, it is becoming crucial to understand their structure on several length-scales, all the way down to the atomic level. Today, electron microscopy and spectroscopy have evolved into central tools for materials characterization. High throughput and multidimensional data acquisition at nano- and atomic scale is a main trend. High efficiency and precision provided by our developments also meet the growing demands in high-end microscopes for materials and life science research in both academia and industry in Sweden. Our development is complimentary to Swedish large-scale facilities: MAX IV and ESS. The accumulated knowledge through this project will create new research for higher education institutes and industry. Our team and associated researchers at MMK can provide the required multi-disciplinary expertise. We will foster a new generation of scientists and engineers in Sweden. We expect the outcome of our development will transform research, education, and innovation. New methods such as what we propose here will solve contemporary and future problems by directing research on products we use in our daily lives.