Cryo-electron Micoscopy Symposium at UCLA

September 24, 2009

The two-day Advanced Electron Microscopy in NanoMedicine Symposium from Friday, Oct. 2—Saturday, Oct. 3 at the California NanoSystems (CNSI) at UCLA brings together researchers from academia and industry to discuss cryo-electron microscopy, or cryoEM, an important new imaging tool with major applications for nanobiology and nanomedicine, particularly for understanding viruses and other macromolecular complexes. Researchers can use cryoEM to visualize a broad range of assemblies and nanometer-scale structures in three dimensions — from molecular to atomic resolution.
Organized by the Electron Imaging Center for Nanomachines (EICN) , a newly established CNSI core lab, the symposium will also serve as a venue for the public unveiling of the top-of-the-line Titan Krios cryoEM and Titan (S)TEM microscopes in the EICN lab.

For more information and to register for the event, visit:

Real-Time Observation of Nanocrystal Growth

August 21, 2009

Interim Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos and Ulrich Dahmen, director of Berkeley Lab’s National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), led a team of experts in nanocrystal growth and electron microscopy who combined their skills to observe the dynamic growth of colloidal platinum nanocrystals in solution with subnanometer resolution. Their results showed that while some crystals in solution grow steadily in size via classical nucleation and aggregation – meaning molecules collide and join together – others grow in fits and spurts, driven by “coalescence events,” in which small crystals randomly collide and fuse together into larger crystals. Despite their distinctly different growth trajectories, these two processes ultimately yield a nearly monodisperse distribution of nanocrystals, meaning the crystals are all approximately the same size and shape.

A new technique known as “liquid cell in situ transmission electron microscopy,” in which the powerful resolution capabilities of a transmission electron microscope (TEM) are brought to bear on a liquid cell that allows liquids to be observed inside a vacuum, enables the visualization of single nanoparticles in solution. The Berkeley researchers deployed this technique on NCEM’s JEOL 3010 In-Situ microscope. Utilizing an electron beam operating at 300 kilovolts of energy, the JEOL 3010 provides outstanding specimen penetration and spatial resolution of about 8 angstroms through the thick liquid cell sample.

Original publication:

Zheng H, Smith RK, Jun YW, Kisielowski C, Dahmen U, Alivisatos AP (2009): Observation of Single Colloidal Platinum Nanocrystal Growth Trajectories. Science Jun 5;324(5932):1309-12.

Canada Gains New Centre for Nanotechnology

Juli 20, 2009

Alberta, Canada will soon be home to a new research and product development centre for nanotechnology called Hitachi Electron Microscopy Products Development Centre (HEMiC) at the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) in Edmonton. The centre will house three new electron microscopes valued at $7 million. The $14 million project is supported by the Western Economic Partnership Agreement between the Governments of Canada and Alberta and to contributions from Hitachi High-Technologies. The HEMiC is made possible by a wider collaboration of the Alberta Ingenuity Fund’s nanoWorks program, the National Institute for Nanotechnology of the National Research Council, the University of Alberta and Hitachi High Technologies Canada Inc. One of the centre’s first projects will evaluate and test the world’s sharpest electron emitter, developed by the Molecular Scale Devices group at NINT for use as an electron source in electron microscopes.

Fellow for the Microscopy Society of America

Juni 26, 2009

Yimei Zhu, a scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been elected the inaugural Fellow of the Microscopy Society of America, an affiliate of the American Institute of Physics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Limited to a small fraction of members, the designation of Fellow recognizes senior distinguished members of the society who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the science and practice of microscopy. Zhu will formally be awarded the society’s first fellowship at its annual meeting in Richmond, Virginia, US, to be held in July. His citation reads: “For outstanding and innovative development and implementation of advanced electron microscopy techniques including quantitative diffraction, imaging, spectroscopy, and phase retrieval methods in understanding superconducting, ferromagnetic, and strongly correlated materials.”

Yimei Zhu, inaugural fellow of the Microscopy Society of America

Yimei Zhu, inaugural fellow of the Microscopy Society of America (photo: Courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory)