Lab Canada

Nanotechnology centre gets next-generation electron microscopy facility

Edmonton, AB – A new research and product development centre will house state-of-the-art Hitachi microscopes, the result of a partnership between the Alberta and federal governments and with contributions from Hitachi High-Technologies.

The Hitachi Electron Microscopy Products Development Centre (HEMiC) at the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) is made possible by a wider collaboration of the Alberta Ingenuity Fund’s nanoWorks program, the National Institute for Nanotechnology of the National Research Council, the University of Alberta and Hitachi High Technologies Canada.

“Alberta’s strength in nanotechnologies, and the province’s coordinated strategy for nanotechnology made our decision to seek a partnership here easy,” said John Cole, president of Hitachi High-Technologies Canada. “This initiative engages Hitachi with Alberta’s nanotechnology community at the leading edge of research while contributing to commercial opportunities.”

The centre will house three new electron microscopes valued at $7 million, including the first-ever Hitachi environmental transmission electron microscope Model H-9500 in operation outside of Japan.

One of the centre’s first projects will evaluate and test the world’s sharpest electron emitter, developed by the Molecular Scale Devices group at NINT for use as an electron source in electron microscopes.

The $14-million HEMiC project includes $6.8 million in joint federal-Alberta funding.

“Working so closely with an industry leader, like Hitachi, will also improve our access to global markets for electron microscope innovations at the National Institute for Nanotechnology,” said Dr Pierre Coulombe, president of the National Research Council. “This relationship with Hitachi will solidify NRC’s reputation for expertise in electron microscopy while allowing us to better meet the needs of Canadian industry.”