SHINE consortium receives NWO funding to combine the best of two worlds

Published on May 15, 2023
Category Materials & Surface Science for EUV Lithography

ARCNL group leader Roland Bliem is participating in a consortium that has recently received funding from the NWO Research Infrastructure (RI) call. The project called ‘Shining light on atomic-scale processes’ (SHINE) has a total budget of 3 million euros. The principal investigator of the project is AMOLF’s group leader Wiebke Albrecht.

The SHINE project provides exciting opportunities bringing together two research developments that have made substantial progress during the last couple of years. First, using modern transmission electron microscopes researchers are now able to routinely visualize materials all the way down to the atomic level. Second, recent developments in the fields of nanophotonics and plasmonics make it possible to concentrate light nearly to the atomic scale within picoseconds, opening up unprecedented control over where, when and how energy is injected into a material. Using highly advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) equipment, the SHINE project allows researchers to bring light directly into the transmission electron microscope and thus watch solar harvesting materials transform at the atomic level under relevant operating conditions.

Roland Bliem in his lab. Credits: Ivar Pel

At ARCNL, the SHINE project will enable atomic-scale insights into laser-induced changes of materials. The new in situ TEM will be integrated with ultra-high vacuum equipment for laser exposure and surface analysis at ARCNL. Roland Bliem is enthusiastic about the opportunities this brings. He says, “this new combination will allow us to achieve atomic-resolution imaging of the effects of laser exposure and obtain information on the surface chemistry of the same material while ruling out possible modifications by air exposure.”

The SHINE consortium partners are: AMOLF, University of Amsterdam (UvA), Vrije Universiteit (VU) and the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL). SHINE will be part of the National Electron Microscopy Infrastructure (NEMI), which coordinates electron microscopy investments in the Netherlands.

Read more about the NWO Research Infrastructure grants on the NWO website.