Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: New high-powered electron microscopes installed at ORNL

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., April 13, 2005 — Three new high-powered electron microscopes installed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory enable scientists to routinely image single atoms.

ORNL researcher Larry Allard said the new Aberration Corrected Electron Microscopes allow scientists to examine nano-materials at the highest resolution possible.

"This is the first of a new generation of electron microscopes that are outfitted with aberration correctors that allow us to achieve sub-angstrom image resolution – that is we can image at the level better than the level of the average atom." Allard said.

The ORNL researcher said the microscopes are housed in a new facility isolating them from outside environmental influences.

"This aberration corrected electron microscope is the world's best detector of environmental influences such as magnetic fields, micro-phonics, floor vibrations, temperature changes in the room and air-pressure changes in the room," Allard said. "The Advanced Microscopy Laboratory was designed and constructed to eliminate as much as possible all outside influences so that the machine will be able to achieve its ultimate resolution on a routine basis."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.