Wednesday, January 23, 2008

'World's best microscope' up and running

I want one!!!...

The world's most powerful transmission electron microscope has been turned on in the US, with single-atom resolution bringing within reach the ability to analyse chemicals simply by looking at them.

The Transmission Electron Aberration-corrected Microscope (TEAM 0.5) has been installed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, having been developed in collaboration with the US Department of Energy (DOE), the University of Illinois and two microscopy firms: the FEI Company and Germany's CEOS.
Traditionally TEM and scanning TEM microscopes have suffered from somewhat limited resolution that stopped frustratingly short of allowing researchers to study materials accurately at the atomic level. This latest development has managed to reach a resolution of 0.5 Angstroms (A) (0.05nm) or one quarter of the diameter of a carbon atom.
The increased resolution of the TEAM microscope should enable scientists in all disciplines to characterise atomic scale structure and chemistry more accurately than ever before.

The director of the TEAM Project, Uli Dahmen, explained that the microscope is the world's best thanks to the equipments resolution, improved contrast and low signal-to-noise ratio.

"[It] brings us within reach of meeting the great challenge posed by the famous physicist Richard Feynman in 1959: the ability to analyse any chemical substance simply by looking to see where the atoms are.

link to full article

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