A new Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) has recently been purchased within the framework of Solliance.* Installed and operated by Philips Innovation labs, it allows inspection of material properties and reactions between materials at the atomic level. Materials engineered at the nanometer scale, such as quantum dots or core/shell nanoparticles, can be analyzed in detail.
The TEM microscope has been acquired to aid the development of thin film solar cells. Together, TU/e and Philips Innovation labs are building a huge knowledge database and exchanging their findings. The new test facility is physically housed at Philips Innovation labs on the Eindhoven High Tech Campus, because Innovation labs possesses the necessary knowledge and experience to operate the TEM. “This technology makes detailed analyses possible, which couldn’t be carried out in any other way,” explains Marcel Verheijen, TEM application specialist, Philips Innovation labs . “With the newest thin-film solar cells, as well as many other devices, you need to examine the three-dimensional distribution of elements within a single layer. Some of the vital layers in these devices are sensitive to the electron beam. Thus, studying them implies damaging them. Our new microscope allows us to make analyses without this distortion. Previously, the sample might be destroyed before sufficient measurements were made. When using a ‘normal’ electron microscope, a material such as graphene disintegrates before you can even take a good look!”