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UB researchers develop a new high resolution technology for material study

This new technology involves the application of the technique known as Precession electron Diffraction.

This new technology involves the application of the technique known as Precession electron Diffraction.

30/10/2012

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The researchers from the University of Barcelona Sònia Estradé, Joaquim Portillo, Francisca Peiró, José M. Rebled and Lluís Yedra, from the Department of Electronics at the Faculty of Physics and from the Scientific and Technologic Center of UB (CCiT-UB), affiliated with the campus of international excellence BKC, together with the Belgian company NanoMEGAS and the American firm AppFive, have developed an innovative technology that represents a significant improvement in the performance of the spectroscopic techniques currently available in many electronic microscopes.

This new technology, which has been protected through a patent application, involves the application of the technique known as Precession electron Diffraction (commonly used in electron diffraction experiments to significantly improve the determination of the crystal structure of materials) to other spectroscopic techniques such as Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS), and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) available with transmission electron microscopy.

Precession of the incident electron beam significantly increases the signal-to-noise ratio of the analytical techniques mentioned above, improving the accuracy of the measurements. By increasing the precision of the experimental data, the resulting quality of materials information (e.g. atomic composition) is greatly improved. Obtaining this data is crucial for Material Science (metallurgy, advanced materials for solar energy, crystalline materials for hydrogen storage, catalysts, inks, etc.), for Life Science (pharmaceutical industry, toxicology, etc.), and, in general, for any application where the knowledge of material properties at the nanoscale is relevant.

The Bosch i Gimpera Foundation has managed the protection of this technology through a European patent application and negotiated exclusive commercial rights with the company NanoMEGAS. The final commercial product is expected to be available in late 2012 or early 2013.

NanoMEGAS is a Belgian company that manufactures hardware and software solutions for transmission electron microscopy. AppFive is a North-American enterprise of software development to microscopy.

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