Quebec City, January 15, 2013 - Professor Federico Rosei, Director of the INRS Energy Materials Telecommunications Research Centre, will soon have access to a Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope (DTEM). Unique in the world for its configuration, this equipment will fill a gap in dynamic materials imaging by simultaneously providing very high spatial and temporal resolution, a first that could revolutionize materials research. This project that combines the study of both the ultrasmall and ultrafast received a grant totalling nearly $12 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Leading Edge and New Initiatives Funds and Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie (MESRST). This institutional project reunites over 160 researchers from 12 Quebec Universities, 14 additional Canadian Universities, the National Research Council and 35 additional institutions in 10 countries across four continents.
In the coming years, innovation in materials sciences will depend on researchers' ability to shed light on the intimate relationships between the nanostructures of materials and their properties. Advances in nanoscience are paving the way for new technologies, in particular in the health, energy, telecommunications, and environment sectors. This new infrastructure will combine the latest transmission electron microscope developments with the most advanced nanosecond and femtosecond laser technologies to observe the dynamic evolution of material structures. Their work will make it possible to synthesize new functional materials and improve the performance of existing materials, with potential applications for sensors, biomaterials, electronic and photonic devices, as well as water treatment and energy storage.
This new equipment will comprise three transmission electron microscopes combined into one. Its unique configuration integrates all dynamic imaging methods as well as electron spectroscopy. The first of its kind in Canada, this microscope is also a greatly improved version of the two DTEM prototypes available in the U.S.
"Research and innovation are powerful drivers of growth in our communities," said Gilles G. Patry, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. "Thanks to the funding announced today, talented researchers and students will be able to find solutions, create products, and generate the ideas Canada needs to prosper."
"This new investment helps position INRS as a world-leading university and research centre in imaging, microscopy, and spectroscopy. In addition to retaining and attracting top researchers, this new state-of-the-art equipment will help train highly qualified staff to master advanced synthesis, characterization, and functional material fabrication techniques," said INRS director general Daniel Coderre.
Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) is research intensive university which offers graduate level training. It ranks first in Canada for research intensity (average grant funding per faculty member). INRS brings together some 150 professors and close to 700 students and postdoctoral fellows at its four centres in Montreal, Quebec City, Laval, and Varennes. Its applied and fundamental research is essential to the advancement of science in Quebec and internationally, even as it plays a key role in the development of concrete solutions to the problems faced by our society.