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Instrumentation for Electron Microscopy and Scanning Probe Microscopy


The Department of Energy supports research and facilities in electron and scanning probe microscopy for the characterization of materials. Performance improvements for environmentally acceptable energy generation, transmission, storage, and conversion technologies depend on a detailed understanding of the structural and property characteristics of advanced materials. The enabling feature of nanoscience, as recognized in workshop reports sponsored by the Department of Energy and by the National Nanotechnology Initiative, is the capability to image, manipulate, and control matter and energy on nanometer, molecular, and ultimately atomic scales. These fundamental research areas are strongly tied to the energy mission of the Department, ranging from solar energy, energy storage and conversion technologies, and carbon sequestration. Electron and scanning probe microscopies are some of the primary tools and widely used for characterizing materials. Innovative instrumentation developments offer the promise of radically improving these capabilities, thereby stimulating new innovations in materials science and energy technologies. Major advances are being sought for capability to characterize and understand materials, especially nanoscale materials, in their natural environment at high resolutions typical of electron and scanning probe microscopy and with good temporal resolution. To support this research, grant applications are sought to develop instrumentation capabilities beyond the present state-of-the-art in (a) electron microscopy and microcharacterization, (b) scanning probe microscopy and (c) areas relevant to (a) and (b), such as integrated electron and scanning probe microscopy capabilities.

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