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Posted: September 30, 2008
German researchers win Honda Prize 2008 for their world-first Atomic Electron Microscope
(Nanowerk News) The Honda Foundation, co-founded by Soichiro Honda and his younger brother Benjiro
Honda, and currently headed by Hiromori Kawashima, announced the
Honda Prize for the year 2008 will be awarded to a German team of researchers of
electron microscopy led by Dr. Maximilian Haider, Dr. Harald Rose, and Dr. Knut
Their team developed the world-first Atomic Electron Microscope, a type of
transmission electron microscope (TEM) capable of atomic-level imaging using
aberration correction technology.
The team will be the 29th laureate of the prize.
The basic theory of aberration correction for high-resolution imaging was introduced by
Dr. Otto Scherzer of Germany in the 1940’s. Many researchers attempted, but failed, its
implementation as an aberration-corrected electron microscope; and experts had
questioned its technical feasibility by the time the laureates, who thought otherwise,
were teamed in 1989.
The laureates refined the basic theory in light of materials science
and combined it with electron optical engineering techniques to attain the mechanical
stability required for electron microscopy. In 1997 they succeeded in making an
aberration-corrected TEM that is capable of high-resolution imaging of atomic
This aberration-corrected microscopic technology used for the TEM is now made
available to microscope manufacturers in Germany, Japan and other countries through
CEOS, a project spin-off company headed by Dr. Haider, to be distributed worldwide
for its applications.
The TEM has become one of the essential instruments for research
and development on an atomic level. It is used not only to produce ultrafine particles for
advanced, high-integrated semiconductor devices, but to analyze and examine the
atomic arrangements, structures, and binding of various materials in industries like
metallic engineering, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Many users expect new
materials could be discovered and macroscopic properties could be analyzed at atomic
levels by use of this technology.
In the research project, Dr. Rose has been chiefly responsible for the basic design of the
corrector and the refinement of the theory of image formation, whereas Dr. Urban has
worked for the application of the refined theory based on his expertise in materials
science, and Dr. Haider has used his knowledge in electron optical engineering for the
elaborate design and development of this new aberration-corrected technology. The
Honda Foundation recognizes the three physicists for their spirit of challenge as well as
substantial contributions to human life through their sophisticated technological
achievement that we believe embodies the ethos of Ecotechnology.
The 29th award ceremony for the Honda Prize will be held at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo
on Monday, November 17th 2008. In addition to the prize diploma and medal, a prize of
10 million yen will be awarded to the team of the laureates.
For more details:
Please visit http://www.hondafoundation.jp or call the Honda Foundation at +81-3-3274-5125
(Fax: +81-3-3274-5103, Local Address: 6-20, Yaesu 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0028,
JAPAN); or please call Honda Motor’s Public Relations at +81-3-5412-1512