A high-definition achievement

A high-definition achievement

When research and industry mix, the results can be truly magnifying
July 11, 2013

The University of Victoria (UVic) is now home to the world’s most powerful microscope, thanks to a partnership with Hitachi, the global leader in scanning electron microscopy.

Rodney Herring received funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation in 2006 to build the first ever scanning transmission electron holograph microscope (STEHM), but he needed a capable partner to make it happen. Meetings with Hitachi executives led to a partnership between Herring and Hitachi High Technologies. The benefit of this project to Hitachi is two-fold: to have the chance to build the world’s most advanced microscope and to gain an edge in the global market for electron microscopy — valued at $4.3 billion in 2012 — by propagating the pioneering technology throughout its mass-market microscopes.

After 11 years of development, UVic officially completed the highest resolution microscope in the world in March 2013. Housed at the university’s Advanced Microscopy Facility, the STEHM’s ability to magnify up to 30 million times will enable transformative research in a number of fields, including medical and environmental diagnostics, computers, alternative energy and manufacturing. The microscope gives UVic a research capability that no other institution has and enables researchers to look at things as small as the inside of a virus or individual atoms of gold, unlocking a world of hidden possibilities.