By Cameron Chai
The 2011 Microscopy Today Innovation Award has been awarded to Sweden-based Nanofactory Instruments, a company manufacturing and marketing scanning probe microscopy equipments, and the Brookhaven National Laboratory of the US Department of Energy.
The Microscopy Society of America is the owner of the academic journal, Microscopy Today, which is printed by Cambridge University Press. The society is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Physics.
Yimei Zhu, who serves as a senior physicist at Brookhaven Lab, has received the award on behalf of Nanofactory Instruments and Brookhaven Lab at an annual meeting of the Microscopy Society of America conducted in Nashville, Tennessee from 7 to 11 August 2011. The award is a plaque that acknowledges the contribution of the institutions in developing a multimodal optical nanoprobe that allows a perfect combination of physical measurements in a transmission electron microscope’.
Zhu headed Brookhaven National Laboratory’s research team partnered with Nanofactory Instruments in order to develop the multimodal optical nanoprobe, which is placed on a transmission electron microscope to determine various attributes of a sample concurrently, along with imaging.
The nanoprobe measures the structural, mechanical, electrical and optical properties of nanoscale materials and instruments that are magnified from 1,000 to 50 million times. Integrating several metrology technologies into one device enables excellent material characterization, which cannot be attained when the techniques are sequentially performed.. These functionalities are offered in a single package, hence can be incorporated into most of the electron microscopy systems with minimal difficulty and cost.