The Higher Education Funding Council for England has awarded materials scientists at the universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Warwick Pounds 750,000 to buy a new electron microscope. Made as part of HEFCE's joint research equipment initiative, the funds will secure a field emission gun transmission electron microscope. The microscope will be installed at Birmingham with access guaranteed to the other universities. Roy Faulkner, professor of physical metallurgy at Loughborough, says the machine will enable researchers to image materials with atomic resolution and allow chemical analysis of very small regions of the order of ten atom diameters.
Work using the machine will tackle problems such as embrittlement of grain boundaries of materials caused by impurity atoms building up at the interfaces.
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