Team of German Researchers to Receive Honda Prize 2008 for Their Achievement in Aberration-Corrected Transmission Electron Microscopy for High-Resolution Visualization of Atomic Structures
| September 30, 2008– The Honda Foundation, co-founded by Soichiro Honda and his younger brother Benjiro Honda, and currently headed by Hiromori Kawashima, is pleased to announce 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 Urban. Their team developed the world-first Atomic Electron Microscope, a type of transmission electron microscope (TEM)*1 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 structures.
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.*2
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.
Profile of 2008 Honda Prize Laureates