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Research & Development

The world's only holography electron microscope capable of observing and measuring atomic arrangement and electromagnetic fields at the atomic resolution can be found at Hitachi.

The holography electron microscope with the world's highest resolution*1 of 43pm (picometers)*2 was developed in 2014. It is currently being used to promote applied research such as the observation and verification of quantum phenomena, and the elucidation of the functional mechanism of phenomena in innovative new materials, together with RIKEN and other external research partners.

The holography electron microscope is a special-type of transmission electron microscope. It is equipped with a field-emission electron gun that emits an electron beam with high brightness and high coherence, and a biprism that refracts the beam, taking full advantage of the wave properties of electrons. The phase of the electron beam passing through an electromagnetic field changes, and this property is used to measure features, such as electromagnetic fields at the atomic level with high sensitivity.

The late Dr. TONOMURA Akira, former Hitachi Fellow, developed the world's first practical instrument of this kind in the 1970s. From then, he worked ceaselessly to develop higher-performance instruments which led to major achievements in physics, including TONOMURA's Double Slit Experiment that demonstrated the wave property of electron beams, verification of the Aharonov‒Bohm Effect which predicted that vector potential would act on charged particle beams, and the observation of weak flux (flux quanta) passing through superconductors. Through such new scientific discovery, we will continue to develop innovative functional materials for magnets, batteries and superconductors, to help realize a Green Society.

As at September 2015.
Developed with support under the Funding Program for World-Leading Innovative R&D on Science and Technology (FIRST Program), Cabinet Office of Japan.



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