The newspaper of Imperial College London
Reporter
 Issue 148, 19 January 2005
Contents
Taking Imperial from strength to strength«
UK-Thai scientific collaboration boosted by new agreement«
Cirque du Soleil in the main entrance«
A nose job«
Frizzy hair today, gone tomorrow«
New microscope gives boost to UK nanotechnology«
Lord Sainsbury visits Imperial«
Imperial leads the way in surgical training and innovation«
New programme will train next generation of health leaders«
Tea off to good health«
Success halts trial«
The perfect Formula«
Spotlight on new R&D solutions«
Imperial students are best trainees«
Cash boost for Wye’s top new scholars«
In Brief«
Media mentions«
Noticeboard«
What’s on«

New microscope gives boost to UK nanotechnology

A powerful new microscope, currently available only in three universities in Europe and the USA, will position Britain as a leading centre for nanomaterials, writes Abigail Smith.

The ultra-high performance analytical electron microscope (AEM) will support research programmes at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN), an interdisciplinary collaboration between Imperial and University College London, bringing together world class infrastructure and leading nanotechnology research activities.

The microscope will provide researchers with extremely high resolution imaging capabilities at resolutions of 0.14 nanometers. The AEM can also analyse materials and give information on the local composition, bonding environment and electronic state of the atoms. Researchers hope this will give them new insights into the complex interrelationships between the atomic arrangement of a material and the properties and performance of a device made from it.

Dr David McComb of the department of materials at Imperial is leading the project and explained: “The detailed analysis this instrument will enable is essential if UK industry is to play a leading role in developing advanced materials for technological applications.”

Research will focus on projects in fuel cell research, magnetic nanostructures, smart coatings, semiconductor quantum dots and biomedical research.

“These projects share a common need for as complete a description as possible of the structure of interfaces, boundaries and defects-ideally on the atomic scale,” said Dr McComb.

Professor Mike Horton, Director of the Bone and Mineral Centre at UCL, added: “Medicine is a great example of an area benefiting hugely from advances in nanotechnology. The AEM will greatly enhance our capacity to understand, for instance, the processes that directly influence the development of osteoporosis and neurodegenerative disease in an ageing population.”

Dr McComb added: “Currently this type of instrument is only available at three universities in Europe and the US. It is hugely exciting that it will now be installed at Imperial to support nanotechnology research throughout London.”

 
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