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Rare-earth elements, also known as REE, are a group of elements, consisting of scandium, yttrium and 15 lanthanide elements. In the last decades there has been a significant growth in the number of devices that use rare-earth metals. They can be found in a wide range of technological areas and are commonly used in lighting and displays, CT scanners and electron microscopes, (fiber) lasers and amplifiers, anti-cancer agents, fluorescent markers, batteries, magnets and catalysists. Rare-earth elements are crucial for modern-day technology and it is important to study rare-earth doped materials at nanoscale to understand them better.Read more →
If you are working in the field of photovoltaics or optoelectronics, you know that perovskites, a group of materials that have ABX3 composition and a perovskite structure, have gained quite a lot of interest due to their exceptional performance in solar cell, light-emitting diode, laser, and water splitting devices.Read more →
Studying formation of sedimentary rocks, observing changes in the chemical composition of zircons, and understanding underlying causes for luminescence of sapphires: all of these are possible with one versatile technique. Cathodoluminescence (CL) is a very useful method of data acquisition in geosciences as it reveals information not readily provided by other techniques.
The excitation of electrons in the sample that produces the light seen through a cathodoluminescence system occurs in specific chemical impurities or intrinsic defects within a geological structure.Read more →
In the last few decades, electronic devices have become more and more important in our lives, and semiconductors are a crucial part of this technology innovation. A semiconductor is a generic term for materials, normally solid chemical elements, that can conduct current, but only partly. A semiconductor has a conductivity which is between that of an insulator with almost no conductivity, and a conductor with almost full conductivity.Read more →
One of the applications of cathodoluminescence is studying optical nanoantennas. But what are they exactly? These devices, made usually from noble metals (gold or silver, for example) or from semiconductor materials, are capable of amplifying and manipulating light on the nanoscale.
Dr. Ruggero Verre is one the Delmic’s oldest customers: he is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Applied Physics at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Optical nanoantennas is the focus of his research group, headed by Prof. Mikael Käll.
One way to study the properties of the antennas and understand how they work is by characterizing them with cathodoluminescence. The group of Ruggero Verre has been using the SPARC cathodoluminescence detector to study them, and they have achieved some interesting results.Read more →
Studying microorganisms (or microbes), which are found in the ocean waters, is a fascinating process that can reveal the hidden secrets about ocean chemistry, biology and climate. Marine microorganisms are exceedingly small, diverse in their forms and distributed across the ocean, which makes it so challenging to analyze them.
Still, marine microbiologists are searching for the answers that will help us to understand the ocean’s ecosystem and how it influences us. This is the focus of the research group of Dr. Sten Littman from Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology.Read more →
Integrated correlative light and electron microscopy (iCLEM) is a technique, in which both fluorescence imaging and electron imaging can be performed on one instrument without needing to transfer the sample. Correlative microscopy approach is being used worldwide for cancer research, in marine biology, neuroscience, and cell biology. Recently this technique has also been applied in the field of geology to gain an insight into the sedimentary organic matter in geological materials.Read more →
Nowadays it has become crucial for life scientists to gain structural and functional data about the sample in order to understand the biological processes happening at the scale of the nanometer. Light or fluorescence microscopy made it possible for the researchers to detect the functional information and image different colors and parts of the cell. It provides the data to understand the dynamics of the cell, however, the diffraction limit of light doesn’t allow distinguishing objects that are smaller than the wavelength of light. That is when the life scientists turn to electron microscopy, which provides the structural information in a high resolution.Read more →
Thoughts on the various applications, techniques, and complications to be discovered in the fascinating fields of both cathodoluminescence and correlative light and electron microscopy.
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