• Investment in world-class microscopy to advance materials characterisation
    From left to right: Dogan Ozkaya (Johnson Matthey), Gerda von de Kerkhof (Diamond and Johnson Matthey), Manfred Schuster (Johnson Matthey), Elizabeth Shotton (Diamond), Gianluigi Botton (Diamond), Adrian Mancuso (Diamond), Jonathan Booth (Jonathan Matthey) and Elizabeth Rowsell (Johnson Matthey) (Credit: Diamond Light Source)

News & Views

Investment in world-class microscopy to advance materials characterisation

Dec 19 2023

A new five-year agreement that will strengthen links between the UK’s national synchrotrons and industry using microscopy at the UK's pioneering electron Physical Science Imaging Centre (ePSIC), in Harwell, Oxfordshire, has been announced today (Dec 19) by Diamond Lightsource and Johnson Matthey, a global leader in sustainable technologies.

Johnson Matthey will upgrade its aberration corrected (JEOL) electron microscope T EEpsic with a cutting-edge electron energy loss spectrometer (EELS) from Gatan-Ametek. Supported by a direct detection camera, the new spectrometer will provide enhanced localised compositional and speciation information when analysing materials at the atomic scale, especially for platinum group metals (PGMs).

Enhanced characterisation of PGM catalyst materials is critical to the research and development of sustainable technologies that are driving the net zero energy transition, such as hydrogen fuel cells and the production of sustainable aviation fuel.

Dr Elizabeth Shotton, Head of Industrial Liaison at Diamond Light Source comments: “This facility helps to enable some of the most important physical sciences research for the UK. We face unprecedented challenges in developing cleaner and more efficient energy sources for a brighter world, improving our existing manufacturing processes, and more, and Diamond is perfectly poised to help solve these problems, by providing great science infrastructure and expertise to our users.”

Dr Elizabeth Rowsell, OBE, Chief Technology Officer at Johnson Matthey, said: “Our long-standing collaboration with Diamond Light Source has already helped us to develop our sustainable technologies which are catalysing the net zero transition. This next stage of investment takes our advanced characterisation capabilities a step further. The upgraded microscope will open up new insights into our catalysts and materials and help us to find new and improved solutions to driving down automotive emissions, transforming our energy systems, and decarbonising chemicals production.”

Prof. Gianluigi Botton, CEO of Diamond Light Source concludes: “When Diamond began this collaboration in 2014, we committed to developing the best scientific tools and facilities for users and businesses solving the UK’s biggest challenges. We are proud to support Johnson Matthey and British business as a whole. Now operating with 33 beamlines, electron microscopes, and world-class labs – and about to begin our transformative Diamond-II upgrade programme – we are very excited to see the transformative science that will be delivered in the years to come.”

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