High Definition Electron Microscopy: Greater clarity via multidimensionality

University of Vienna is a partner in this project.

Atomic resolution microscopy relies on beams of energetic electrons. These beams quickly destroy fragile materials, making imaging them a major challenge. I have recently developed a new approach that provides the greatest possible resolving power per electron. The method provides both double resolution and excellent noise rejection, via multidimensional data acquisition and analysis. Here I propose to couple the new method with breakthroughs in high speed cameras to achieve unprecedented clarity at low doses, almost guaranteeing major advances for imaging beam sensitive materials. Proof of principle will be achieved for biochemical imaging using the easy to handle, commercially available GroEL chaperone molecule. We will combine our enhanced imaging capabilities with the averaging methods recently recognized by the Nobel prize in chemistry for imaging biomolecules at ultra low doses. After proving our low dose capabilities we will apply them to imaging proteins of current interest at greater resolution. Similar techniques will be used for fragile materials science samples, for instance metal organic framework, Li ion battery, 2D, catalyst and perovskite solar cell materials. Furthermore the same reconstruction algorithms can be applied to simultaneously acquired spectroscopic images, allowing us to not only locate all the atoms, but identify them. The properties of all materials are determined by the arrangement and identity of their atoms, and therefore our work will impact all major areas of science, from biology to chemistry and physics.

Funder: ERC

Project identifier: 802123

Project leader: Tim Pennycook (U. Antwerp)

Partner at PNM: Jani Kotakoski

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