Monday, 20 Oct, 2008 Science

Canadian University Reveals World's Most Powerful Microscope


McMaster University, research-intensive university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, has installed in its new Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy a microscope which claims to be the most advanced and powerful in the world.

According to Gianluigi Botton, the leader of the project who holds the position of the director of the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy and the professor of Materials Science and Engineering, the resolution of the microscope, dubbed Titan 80-300 Cubed, can be compared to that of Hubble Telescope, being able to observe at the atomic level.

"With this microscope we can now easily identify atoms, measure their chemical state and even probe the electrons that bind them together," said Botton.

Titan 80-300 is kept in a specially created facility that can resist ultralow vibrations, low noise and minute temperature variations. Scientist will use the microscope from a separate room in order to obtain high-quality results, informs EurekAlert!.

FEI Company, which supplies electron microscopy tools to researchers and manufacturers that work on the nanoscale, created the microscope in the Netherlands. Each day the $15 million device will help study hundreds of products at nano level. Thus, according to John Preston, director of McMaster's Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research, scientists will be able to understand, alter and improve products' efficiency.

Scientists will use Titan to develop more efficient lighting and improved solar cells, make researches on proteins and drug-delivery materials to identify cancer. The microscope also will help make lighter and stronger car materials and higher density storage in order to create electronic and telecommunication devices that would worker faster.

"The addition of the Titan 80-300 Cubed to the Centre's suite of microscopy instruments that include a Titan cryo-in situ solidifies Ontario's and Canada's lead in nanotechnology, and places us among the world's most advanced materials research institutions," outlined Mo Elbestawi, McMaster's vice-president, Research and International Affairs.

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