Best materials science electron microscope in the world for Utrecht University

Electron Microscopy Utrecht has brought into use the, at this moment, most advanced electron microscope of its kind. It enables scientists to image individual atoms in nanoparticles, and offers possibilities to develop new sustainable materials. This new transmission electron microscope (TEM) is called the Spectra300. From March 1, 2021, it is open to scientists of Utrecht University. Only qualified operators are allowed to use this high-tech machine. Later this year, it will be open to scientists from the Netherlands and serve as a national facility in the Netherlands Electron Microscopy Infrastructure NEMI. The new microscope allows imaging with a spatial resolution of 50 picometer both in wide-beam imaging mode and in scanning probe mode. It is equipped with a double monochromator which provides an excellent energy resolution, allowing electron energy loss spectrometry that can be used to map also plasmons of metallic nanoparticles, band gaps of semiconducting materials, and of phonons, thereby providing an extensive toolbox of structural and physical characterization. It is also equipped with a most sensitive camera (Gatan K3) allowing the imaging of soft and beam-sensitive materials. The first measurements have already been done; the head of facility Marijn van Huis and EM staff members Chris Schneijdenberg and Hans Meeldijk are most excited about the first results.

Facility manager Chris Schneijdenberg (left) signing off for the final delivery of the Spectra300 microscope with Erik Vulders (right) from ThermoFisherScientific.