Researchers can now study materials at atomic level
Thursday, 23 July 2015
Australian researchers will be able to study materials critical to the development of a range of industries at atomic level, thanks to new equipment and facilities to be launched at the University of Adelaide today.
A $4.1 million refurbishment of Adelaide Microscopy and a new $3.6 million atomic resolution transmission electron microscope will be celebrated this morning by researchers from across Australia and representatives from government and industry.
The upgraded facility creates six new laboratories including a tailor-made, magnetically shielded laboratory to house the atomic resolution transmission electron microscope which stands at nearly 3.5 meters tall.
“This instrument is the first atomic resolution electron microscope to be installed in South Australia, and is the only one with its significant level of capability nationally,” says Mr Angus Netting, Director, Adelaide Microscopy.
“It’s a critical piece of research infrastructure that is now available to Australian researchers and to Australian industry nationally. Research related to materials used for renewable energy, advanced manufacturing and mining will be major beneficiaries of access to atomic resolution microscopy.
“Aberration Corrected Transmission Electron Microscopy allows researchers to view nano-materials literally at the atomic level. That means being able to study material atom by atom to better understand, for example, chemical reactions critical to energy conversion or the structure of nano-crystals used for optical communication or sensing.”
Adelaide Microscopy is part of the NCRIS-funded Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF), used by researchers nationally.
The purchase of the Aberration Corrected Transmission Electron Microscope (Titan Themis TEM) was supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) under its Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities program. This was a $1.375 million grant to the University of Adelaide in partnership with Flinders University and University of South Australia.
All three South Australian universities and other universities across Australia will have access to this flagship instrument, made available to trained research scientists and students.
The new basement laboratory of Adelaide Microscopy will be renamed The George Rogers Laboratory after Emeritus Professor George Rogers AO FAA, one of the first transmission electron microscopists in Australia. Now well into his eighties, biochemist Professor Rogers continues to use the facility regularly.
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