SuperSTEM welcomed schools and families during the Daresbury Open Week
SuperSTEM opened the doors to visitors on 7th July and 9th July. Thursday’s event was dedicated to Key Stages 4 and 5 students and included talks and demonstrations in SuperSTEM 2. During the busiest day of the Daresbury Open Week, the public day on Saturday 9 July, the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) estimates that more than 7,500 people came to Sci-Tech Daresbury. General public, families and members of different laboratories at Sci-Tech Daresbury were welcome to tour SuperSTEM, which included a visit to the newest monochromated instrument, life demonstration in SuperSTEM 2, outdoors posters, an interactive virtual microscope demonstrations and videos for the youngest ones and an introduction about SuperSTEM scope and its role within the scientific community.
Mervyn's Retirement Party
Over 120 guests joined the SuperSTEM team and EPSRC to celebrate the installation on STFC's Daresbury Scientific Campus of the facility's new state-of-the-art monochromated Nion Hermes microscope during a hugely successful two-day international workshop.
World-renowned speakers delivered inspiring scientific lectures and provided their views and hopes for what scientists might be able to achieve with this new generation of electron microscope. The "excitement of the unknown", prospects for "mapping phonons and other low energy excitations" were systematic topics of discussion during the lectures, over coffee and late into the night after the gala dinner. These are exciting times for electron microscopy, and with the unprecedented <15meV resolution this instrument already achieves a mere 3 weeks after its arrival on site (in boxes), Prof. Archie Howie's hope to "lure physicists back into electron microscopy to tackle the experimental and theoretical challenges posed by such capabilities" may soon come true.
The participants indeed had a chance at the end of the workshop to see the new instrument in action - including a first time glimpse at an optical phonon peak for boron nitride using an electron microscope thanks to expert operation by SuperSTEM's Fredrik Hage.
Images courtesy of Laura Bennett and Stuart Eyres of STFC Daresbury Media Group
The EPSRC also voiced strong confidence in the instrument. “EPSRC investment in SuperSTEM has consistently led to high research output,” said Phil Nelson, CEO of the EPSRC in his opening address for the inauguration. He highlighted the volume of highly cited papers from the facility, as well as the UK in general, which receives a lower percentage GDP investment in R&D compared with the European average. He described it as “a return on investment that is second to none.”
This, of course, would never be possible without the hugely fruitful interactions with all of SuperSTEM's collaborators! So the final word must go to our users and collaborators and to all of our guests during the inauguration ceremony.
Thank you so much again for making this inauguration ceremony a success. We hope to see you again soon in Daresbury!
A Selection of the News Coverage:
(disclaimer: factual errors, out of our control, are included)
The 6th biennial SuperSTEM Summer School on Electron Microscopy was held between the 4th and 7th of July 2014 on the STFC Daresbury Campus, where the SuperSTEM Laboratory is located. This event built on an established series of schools and workshops organised biennially since 2004 by the SuperSTEM Lab
oratory. It was this year organised as a satellite event to the mmc2014 Conference, held in Manchester.
The aim of this year’s school was to cover more advanced topics in aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), going beyond the typical syllabus of introductory or professional courses, with topics including: principles of aberration correction and diagnosis, recent developments in imaging theory, instrumentation design and advanced optics, quantitative image analysis, spectroscopies, simulation of elastic and inelastic images…
The school was therefore intended for Ph.D. students, post-doctoral researchers as well as academics with an existing background in electron microscopy. Lectures by world-leading experts were complemented by extensive practical sessions over the four days of the school. A particular emphasis in organising the practicals was the requirement for every participant to be given real hands-on experience, both on the electron microscopes housed at the Laboratory (an aberration-corrected VG HB501 and a Nion UltraSTEM100) and on the latest processing and interpretation software (including HyperSpy and HREM Research’s Jitterbug). They were therefore organised in small groups of 5-6 people.
Summer School Group photograph, taken just outside the lecture room, by the historic Bridgewater Canal which runs alongside Daresbury Laboratory.
This imposed a limit on the number of attendees that could be accommodated: a very international contingent of 31 applicants from an impressive 11 countries was selected to attend, although a much larger number of applications were initially received. Thanks to an organisation on a single site in the middle of the beautiful Cheshire countryside all attendees were able to take part in a number of social events throughout the weekend, including a ‘scientific pub quiz’ and a school dinner cruise on the nearby river Dee. Attendees were also given the opportunity to present a poster about their own research, in order to further stimulate discussions and interaction. The best poster prize was awarded to Ms. Ekin Simsek, from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (Stuttgart, Germany) at the end of the school banquet by SuperSTEM’s Prof. Rik Brydson, chair of the judging committee.
From the feedback received from the participants, the school was a resounding success: “tired but brimming with new knowledge and information” was a comment often overheard as the participants were preparing to depart. As school co-organiser Dr. Dorothea Mücke-Herzberg concluded: “This is exactly what we were hoping to achieve!”
The 6th Biennial SuperSTEM Summer School was organised thanks to generous support from: EPSRC, the Royal Microscopical Society, the ESTEEM2 Network, HREM Research Inc., Nion Co., Bruker Nano GmbH. and the European Microscopy Society.