Press Release No. 11 | 21 March 2016
Six Universities Receive New X-Ray Microscopes
Instrumentation used to probe the structure and element distribution of materials on sub-micrometre scale / €13.4 million as part of major instrumentation initiative
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is equipping six universities in Germany with new X-ray microscopes. As part of its current major instrumentation initiative, the DFG is providing €13.4 million to establish the technology in the context of high-performing research groups in Bremen, Dortmund, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Halle, Hannover and Saarbrücken. The proposals from these institutions were selected from a total of 19 proposals by the DFG's Joint Committee on the basis of the findings of an international group of experts.
X-ray microscopes, which only recently became available on a laboratory scale, provide high resolution at sub-micrometre level. They enable researchers to analyse the structure of materials in an automated, high-throughput process. X-ray microscopes also supply measurement signals to determine the spatial chemical composition of a material. It is intended that this will significantly accelerate characterisation in direct proximity to material synthesis. The technology also enables researchers to develop high-performance materials with specific combinations of properties and carry out multi-scale simulations which are accurately supported and validated with experimental data. X-ray microscopes therefore lay the foundation for new methods in material development in a globally much-discussed field known as integrated computational materials engineering.
With the help of the new instrumentation, researchers at the six selected institutions can now initiate new interdisciplinary projects in basic research. Furthermore, 20% of the main usage time of the new microscopes will be made available to other scientific working groups in Germany.