University of Cambridge


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The Electron Microscopy Group is based on the ground floor of the Old Cavendish building and has a long and distinguished history of microscopy innovation, both in technique development and in its application to a variety of materials systems. Once the home of the Cambridge High Voltage Microscope and later the High Resolution Electron Microscope (the group is still referred to by some as HREM), it is now a thriving and progressive microscopy laboratory.

The group is responsible for the Department's EM Facility, which includes a number of state-of-the-art instruments including two field emission gun SEMs, a dedicated high-resolution JEOL 400kV TEM, a VG HB501 STEM and two field emission gun TEMs (one a 300kV Philips instrument, the other an FEI Tecnai F20). The group has a wide interest in many aspects of electron microscopy, but particularly in high-resolution imaging, electron holography, electron tomography, energy loss imaging and spectroscopy. In addition, the group continues to be very active in the development of new software for image and spectral analysis and boasts a suite of workstations, including a Silicon Graphics multi-node Origin 200, and a large collection of dedicated microscopy software. We work closely with many groups in the Department and elsewhere and investigate many different materials, including ceramics and semiconductors, metals and alloys and more recently biomaterials and bacterial structures.

These are exciting times for electron microscopy. Over the next few years, a number of new microscopes will become available that have aberration correctors (for ultra-high spatial resolution), monochromators (for better spectral resolution), new field emission tips (leading to much brighter electron beams) and improved detectors and spectrometers. All of these innovations will allow electron microscopy to stay at the cutting edge of nanoscale materials research.