The York JEOL Nanocentre was formally opened in the new building on the York Science Park on 27 April 2007 by the Vice Chancellor of the University of York, Professor Brian Cantor, the chair of Yorkshire Science, Richard Gregory OBE, and the president of JEOL, Dr Harada, in the presence of more than 60 guests. Tom Riordan, chief executive of Yorkshire Forward, unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.
The University of York is making a long term investment in the Nanocentre in terms of the purchase of equipment, a new building, set up costs and new staff posts associated with the Departments of Physics, Electronics and Chemistry. The University's total investment in the Nanocentre over the initial 5-year period is of the order of £5.5M, including the creation of a number of new academic posts and support staff positions. JEOL are major sponsors and users of the Centre supporting the venture at the level of at least £1.05M over the same 5-year period. The £1.65M balance of the funding for the Centre has been provided by Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Authority, with European Union support.
It is widely recognised in the national and international scientific community that the Nanocentre created at York is one of the most successful Nanoscience and Microscopy ‘Nanocentres’ and one of the most productive in the UK in facility utilisation and scientific output, and a model Nanocentre studied internationally.
Over the past year gas environment modifications to the double aberration corrected JEOL 2200 (S)TEM have been introduced operations have been demonstrated; uniquely with full microscope functionality and sub-angstrom resolution retained, allowing flexible scheduling of multiple uses of the modified system with gas and in normal modes. These developments have been a major focus of Director activities this year. They have already resulted in several publications in high impact journals, as well as to keynote paper invitations to leading conferences in Japan and Europe in 2012. In the past year, decades of conventional wisdom in environmental microscopy, has been overturned by these exciting developments. The in-situ facilities have also found wider application in magnetic thin films and in biomaterials areas.
Experimental Officers were recruited for SME industrial outreach on a Boyes/Gai EU/ERDF funded project and internally funded to support aberration corrected microscopy. These appointments have been a great success.
Utilisation of the tools is now approaching capacity in normal working hours and to meet demand these are being extended to near 24 hour operation, especially of the flagship 2200.
From left to right: Prof Brian Cantor (Vice-chancellor of the University of York), Tim Riordan (Yorkshire Forward), Prof Pratibha Gai (Nanocentre), Dr Harada (JEOL Ltd), Richard Gregory (Yorkshire Science)