Monash University home to three electron microscopes


Thursday, 18 April, 2024

Monash University home to three electron microscopes

Monash University is now home to three electron microscopes, including one of the highest resolution microscopes in the world. The microscopes, reportedly worth more than a combined $20 million, could help support the development of vital materials needed for high-speed computer chips, better batteries, more efficient solar panels, biodegradable plastics, communication devices and green technologies, such as cleaner mineral extraction.

Professor Joanne Etheridge, Science Director at the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy (MCEM), said almost everything we use in our daily lives — from toothpaste and cars to mobile phones — is made from materials engineered with the help of electron microscopes. The new microscopes have already revealed how next-generation, high-efficiency solar cell materials degrade at the atomic scale in order to develop solutions that last longer, and the origin of the ultra-high-strength properties of a new titanium alloy designed for additive manufacturing.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Infrastructure) Professor Jacek Jasieniak said MCEM is a leading research facility that fosters innovation, bringing scientists and engineers, industry and government to the heart of the Monash Technology Precinct to co-develop solutions with positive and lasting impact.

“These are revolutionary instruments and a powerful new addition to our world-class Monash research platforms. We look forward to the new scientific discoveries they will enable,” Jasieniak said.

In a keynote address, special guest, distinguished scientist and CEO of the Diamond Light Source (the UK Synchrotron) Professor Gianluigi Botton FRSC highlighted the international significance of this research capability for solving key global challenges.

Image credit: iStock.com/anamejia18

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