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people and placesPEOPLEANDPLACESMICROSCOPY AND ANALYSIS NOVEMBER 201123The Royal Swedish Acad-emy of Sciences hasawarded the Nobel Prize inChemistry for 2011 toDaniel Shechtman Technion- Israel Institute of Technol-ogy, Haifa, Israel "for thediscovery of quasicrystals".On 8 April 1982, animage counter to the lawsof nature appeared inDaniel Shechtman's elec-tron microscope. In all solid matter, atoms were believed to be packed inside crys-tals in symmetrical patterns that were repeated periodically over and over again.For scientists, this repetition was required in order to obtain a crystal. Shechtman'simage, however, showed that the atoms in his crystal were packed in a pattern thatcould not be repeated. Such a pattern was considered just as impossible as creat-ing a football using only six-cornered polygons, when a sphere needs both five- andsix-cornered polygons. Aperiodic mosaics, such as those found in medieval Islamicmosaics have helped scientists understand what quasicrystals look like at the atomiclevel. In those mosaics, as in quasicrystals, the patterns are regular - they followmathematical rules - but they never repeat themselves. Following Shechtman's dis-covery, scientists have produced other kinds of quasicrystals in the lab and discov-ered naturally occurring quasicrystals in mineral samples from a Russian river. ASwedish company has also found quasicrystals in a certain form of steel, where thecrystals reinforce the material like armor. Scientists are currently experimentingwith using quasicrystals in different products such as frying pans and diesel engines.Daniel Shechtman was born 1941 in Tel Aviv, Israel. He has a PhD 1972 from theTechnion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, and is now a distinguishedprofessor holding the Philip Tobias Chair, at that university.NobelPrizeforShechtmanThe National Institute of Materials Physics (NIMP) in Magurele, near Bucharest,Romania, has opened new labs equipped with state-of-the-art microscopes for thecomplex examination and characterization of the microstructure of materials. Thesuppliers of these systems were JEOL (Europe), Shimadzu Handelsgesellschaft andTESCAN. Together they offered their best instruments to the lab: a TESCAN LYRA3field-emission scanning electron microscope equipped with a focused ion beamand a JEOL JEM-ARM 200F Cs-corrected field emission atomic resolution analyticaltransmission electron microscope.The inauguration programme included a workshop with presentations by rep-resentatives of several important European scientific and academic institutionssuch as the University of Antwerp, Belgium, the University of Caen, France, ClaudeBernard University in Lyon, France, and the Institute of Physics and Chemistry ofMaterials in Strasbourg, France. TESCAN and JEOL representatives then followedwith presentations of their most advanced equipment including the two instru-ments delivered to NIMP in Magurele.Romanian National InstituteLeft: Dr Zadrazil of Tescan. Right: TESCAN Lyra 3 at NIMP.Following the successful completion of a two-year evaluation phase, the Universityof Ulm, the Heidelberg-based company CEOS GmbH and Carl Zeiss Nano Technol-ogy Systems have signed an agreement to embark on the next phase of the SALVE(sub-angstrom low-voltage electron) microscopy project. SALVE is one of the most ambitious research projects in the field of electronmicroscopy to be undertaken in Germany in recent years. The objective of the pro-ject is to develop and build a transmission electron microscope capable of imagingsamples with atomic resolution at very lowacceleration voltages. The advantages offeredby this approach are clear: Unlike the currentgeneration of TEMs with accelerating voltagesof between 200 and 300 kV, which destroy radi-ation-sensitive samples before researchers canrecord usable images or perform material analy-sis, the SALVE project will keep specimens stablelong enough to perform experimental work.The the first phase of the co-operation projectconducted between 2009 and 2011 - in whichresearchers analyzed the feasibility of the keyprinciples involved - has produced some spec-tacular results, with the scientists successfullygenerating atomic-resolution images at acceler-ating voltages well below 80 kV. During celebrations to mark the start of theproject's second phase, Project Manager Professor Ute Kaiser from the Universityof Ulm and a number of guest speakers, including Nobel Prize winner Klaus vonKlitzing, presented some of the fascinating ways in which the SALVE system couldpotentially be used. Ranging from studies of superconductors and semiconductorsto research into lithium-ion batteries, plastics and biological materials, some of theexamples they highlighted have already yielded preliminary results. While Carl Zeiss presses ahead with development of the system itself, the Uni-versity of Ulm will be working on application development and conductingresearch into sample preparation methods. Meanwhile, the third project partner,CEOS, having a lot of expertise in the development of advanced electron opticalsystems, is focusing its efforts on a new optimized corrector to compensate thechromatic and the spherical aberration for low voltages.SALVE Project enters Phase IISynoptics has set up the Advanced Technology Group, a new division which willwork with life science companies and academic clients to deliver bespoke imagingequipment to improve bench-based research, quality control or clinical develop-ment processes.Synoptics, comprising the Syngene, Synbiosis and Syncroscopy divisions, providesinnovative products that life scientists need to enhance the quality and speed oftheir research. Syngene produces the G:BOX image analyser to analyse gels andblots in the fields of genomics and proteomics. Synbiosis provides the ProtoCOL 2,a colony counting and zone sizing system used in many major pharmaceutical com-panies, and Syncroscopy offers Auto-Montage software for producing focusedimages of 3D samples, which is marketed by major microscope manufacturer, Leica.Richard Maskell, Synoptics' new head of the Advanced Technology Groupexplained: "We are increasingly being approached to develop novel systems andsoftware to bring about a step change in biological quality control and researchprocesses. We have experience in solving challenges associated with imaging awide variety of materials, as well as taking those solutions to market and aredelighted to offer access to this expertise via our new Advanced TechnologyGroup." Paul Ellwood, Managing Director of Synoptics added: "We encourage academicresearchers experiencing issues with their biological imaging processes, or tech-nology providers that are looking to design an imaging system to bring to market,to contact us today to discuss how working with our new Advanced TechnologyGroup could help them make a strategic impact on their research or quality con-trol objectives."Synoptics Technology Group

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