European Researchers Develop Novel Microscopy Technique
1 April 2014
A novel microscopy tool, named Raman Imaging Scanning Electron (RISE), has been developed by a group of European researchers. The tool brings together confocal Raman and scanning electron (SEM) techniques in a single integrated system.
RISE was developed with support from the European Commission's FP7 funding program and is a result of the three-year UnivSEM project which has cost an estimated EUR4.7 million.
The microscope, to be presented at the Analytica 2014 trade show in Germany this week, provides images of surfaces with nanometer-scale resolution thanks to the SEM technique deployed and the molecular detection capacity of Raman spectroscopy. The tool will be showcased by Czech-based program co-ordinator Tescan and project partner Witec, which is based in Germany.
The SEM/Raman tool is just one of the projects developed as part of the UnivSEM initiative, with the research group also collaborating on the development of multi-modal combinations of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), advanced X-ray, electron backscattering and mass spectrometry techniques integrated with optical technology.
According to Olaf Hollricher, CEO and director of research and development at Witec, RISE microscopy technology presents robust opportunities for the most comprehensive ultra-structural and molecular sample analyses. The RISE microscope "bears all the hallmarks" of a promising correlative microscope technique that will persuade users of both Raman and SEM technology of its usefulness, he said.
The two firms are confident that the new microscope combines the benefits of a standalone SEM and confocal Raman microscope, delivering both sub-nanometer and diffraction-limited resolution while visualizing samples on the nano-scale.