Electron microscopy allows scientists to measure and image material properties down to the very atomic scale, bringing to fruition Feynman’s visionary idea that saw in the electron microscope the main instrument for nanoscience. However, its development has been restricted for many years to improving spatial and energetic resolution, through the adoption of bulky sets of magnetic lenses and multipoles. This approach has begun to feel limiting - since cross-fertilisation with light optics has shown the many possibilities hidden in the newly-acquired capacity to perform electron beam shaping. In the course of the Q-SORT FET project, we devised an innovative approach to electron beam shaping based on MEMS technology and complex analogue control of the device. MINEON will further validate the design of a MEMS-based spiral phase plate, based on the above approach. Crucially, we will also conduct market surveys, cost modelling, and extensive dissemination targeted at the intended user and funder communities, with the aim of attracting and probing the interest of prospective users and investors. Compared to standard electron optics, this approach is revolutionary because the setup is significantly simpler, more compact, much more flexible, enabling moreover the achievement of very unconventional phase effects. The entailed MEMS technology is of further future commercial interest because it enables many other possible types of beam shaping devices, which could address aberration correction, better material-free Zernike phase plates, multipole analysis of fields in a sample, computational ghost imaging. At the end of this project: - a series of working prototypes of the device and a pilot application for its more effective exploitation will be available - the market potential of the device will have been assessed - its existence will have been disseminated and advertised within the target communities - the cost & revenue model for its production will have been determined.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCSA-LSP - Coordination and support action Lump sum