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Nano Research...
2006 Nano Onderzoek




The University of Leicester is to open a new Advanced Microscopy Centre on 10th May at 4pm, which will enhance research in the Faculty of Science, particularly in the nano and micro scale characterisation of materials.

The Centre will be opened by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Robert Burgess, in the presence of members of the University Department of Engineering and colleagues from industry.

The Centre obtained £1.48M of funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England for four, state of the art instruments, which are located in the Faculty of Science. Alongside these instruments there are comprehensive specimen preparation facilities.

The instruments in the Advanced Microscopy Centre include a Field Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscope; a Transmission Electron Microscope; an Ultra-High Vacuum Scanning Tunnelling Microscope; and a Scanning Probe Microscope.

This investment in new facilities for the Leicester's Faculty of Science has already led to significant success in terms of attracting funding for projects from the EC, EPSRC and collaborations with industry.

Dr Sarah Hainsworth, of the University's Department of Engineering, commented: "This is a superb new facility which is a key resource for researchers in the Faculty of Science. It is enabling us to pursue research and collaborations in areas which have not previously been possible. The Advanced Microscopy Centre is vitally important in providing researchers with the tools they need for innovative research into materials at nanometer scales."

A project that has already benefited from the new equipment is in studying how microstructure changes as a function of stress and temperature for guiding development of new steel alloys for powerplant operation at higher temperatures which ultimately leads to lower emissions of greenhouse gases.

Other research to take advantage of the new Centre includes work in collaboration with the University's Medical School to look at the fundamentals of how nanoscale particles might be used for drug delivery.
A fuller explanation of research projects that are using the Advanced Microscopy Centre, can be seen on the following website: http://ebulletin.le.ac.uk/

* The Advanced Microscopy Centre is available for use to Industry at competitive rates. Anyone who is interested in further information should contact the director of the Centre, Dr Sarah Hainsworth, Department of Engineering, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, Tel: 0116 252 2547, email: svh2@le.ac.uk.


The four instruments in the University of Leicester Advanced Microscopy Centre are:

* A Field Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscope (FEGSEM) equipped with X-ray Microanalysis and Electron Backscattered Diffraction Facilities for high resolution imaging of materials. The Sirion has an in-lens detection system that allows ultra-high resolution imaging in both secondary and back-scattered modes at voltages down to 500V. The EBSD system provides information on the grain orientation within samples and allows the influence of texture on mechanical properties to be determined.

* A Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) with X-ray Microanalysis and scanning transmission electron microscopy detectors. The transmission electron microscope allows information on the morphology, composition, crystallography of materials to be obtained at high resolutions.

* An Ultra-High Vacuum Scanning Tunnelling Microscope (UHV-STM). The UHV-STM is capable of obtaining atomic resolution images of a surface and by operating at cyrogenic temperatures and applying magnetic fields the magnetic behaviour of materials can be studied.

* A Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM). The SPM works by scanning a tip across a sample surface and measuring the forces between the tip and surface. The technique allows the topography of samples to be determined at near atomic resolution. Additionally, tip-sample interactions can be influenced by the mechanical, electrical and magnetic properties of materials allowing insights into the nanoscale behaviour of materials.

For more information please contact Dr Sarah Hainsworth, Department of Engineering, University of Leicester, tel: 0116 252 2547, email: svh2@le.ac.uk

Ather Mirza
Director of Press and Publications
University of Leicester
University Road
tel: 0116 252 3335
email: pressoffice@le.ac.uk
Looking for an expert? Try http://www.le.ac.uk/press/experts/intro.html


The University of Leicester is the UK's top ranked University for teaching quality and overall satisfaction amongst universities teaching full time students and was rated joint 1st in the UK in the 2005 National Student Survey. Founded in 1921, the University of Leicester has 19,000 students from 120 countries. Teaching in 18 subject areas has been graded Excellent by the Quality Assurance Agency- including 14 successive scores - a consistent run of success matched by just one other UK University.

Leicester is world renowned for the invention of DNA Fingerprinting by Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys and houses Europe's biggest academic Space Research Centre. 90% of staff are actively engaged in high quality research and 13 subject areas have been awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level. The University's research grant income places it among the top 20 UK research universities.

The University employs over 3,000 people, has a turnover of £300m, covers an estate of 94 hectares and is engaged in a £300m investment programme- among the biggest of any UK university.

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