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Monash University now home to three electron microscopes

Monash University has announced it is now home to a trio of top-tier electron microscopes, among them, one of the highest resolution microscopes in the world.

In a recent announcement Monash University stated the electron microscopes will help scientists push the frontiers in materials science to solve complex challenges.

The instruments, worth more than a combined $20 million, were unveiled by Dr Carina Garland MP, Member for Chisholm, at the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy (MCEM) at the University’s Clayton campus.

The microscopes were custom-built by Thermo Fisher Scientific, and two are globally unique and enable unparalleled capabilities.

Monash announced the technology underpins the development of vital materials needed for high-speed computer chips, better batteries, more efficient solar panels, biodegradable plastics, communication devices, lighter, stronger metals for energy-efficient aircraft alloys, and green technologies, such as cleaner mineral extraction.

“Almost everything we use in our daily lives – from toothpaste and cars, to mobile phones – is made from materials engineered with the help of electron microscopes,” said science director of MCEM and Australian Laureate professor in the school of physics and astronomy, Professor Joanne Etheridge.

Etheridge said, “This new suite of electron microscopes is even more powerful, revealing features that could not be seen before. This is vital for accelerating the development of new and better materials to advance technologies that underpin every aspect of life and society, from energy to health, transport, computing and communications.”

Monash University stated the new instruments have already revealed how next generation, high-efficiency solar cell materials degrade at the atomic scale in order to develop solutions that last much longer, and the origin of the ultra-high-strength properties of a new titanium alloy designed for additive manufacturing.

Professor Jacek Jasieniak, said “These are revolutionary instruments and a powerful new addition to our world-class Monash research platforms. We look forward to the new scientific discoveries they will enable,” Professor Jasieniak said.

The MCEM is an international research centre in electron microscopy that
combines technology with specialist expertise in the development of methods to determine atomic structures.

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