• Pioneer in Nanoscience Research Visits Jeol USA

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Pioneer in Nanoscience Research Visits Jeol USA

Jun 22 2010

World renowned physicist Dr Sumio Iijima, who pioneered the use of high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) to characterise nanomaterials in the early ’70s and who also successfully imaged carbon nanotubes in the early ‘90s visited Jeol USA last month following a speaking engagement at MIT’s Center for Materials Science and Engineering.

Dr Iijima’s accomplishments are many, beginning with his groundbreaking work at Arizona State University and later at the Research Development Corporation of Japan and at NEC. He produced the first atomic resolution micrographs with the HRTEM, characterised the structure of crystalline solids and imaged small clusters in the structure of gold particles. He looked at short-range order in carbon specimens and his micrographs validated the structure of C60. In 1991, he published a paper on the crystalline structure of carbon nanotubes.

The discovery of carbon nanotubes has fueled intense research in nanoscience and transformed knowledge of materials that are developed to benefit society. “Science is always looking for something new,” Dr Iijima mused. “Like the discovery of the transistor, small things become giant and the seeds begin to grow.”

Iijima admits to always thinking of microscopy as a hobby – not a job - and his instruments of choice are the TEM, and, when not investigating nanomaterials, the flute.

“We’re honoured to have such a distinguished leader in the field of nanoscience visit with us,” said Bob Santorelli, CEO of JEOL USA, who hosted the visit along with Shinichi Watanabe, Chairman; Peter Genovese, President; and Hisao Wada, Vice President.

Dr Iijima was recently honoured as a guest of the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and was presented with the 2009 Order of Culture award for materials science.

Iijima has also received the prestigious Kavli prize in 2008, Spain’s 2008 Prince of Asturias Award, and the 2007 Balzan Prize for Nanoscience. He was elected as a US foreign member of the U.S.

National Academy of Science in 2007, and received the 2002 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Physics. Iijima is currently a Professor at Meijo University, Director of the AIST/Nanotube Research Center, Senior Research Fellow at NEC, and Dean of Sungkyunkwan Advanced Institute of Nanotechnology in Seoul, Korea.

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