Towards data-driven next-generation transmission electron microscopy

Electron microscopy touches on nearly every aspect of modern life, underpinning materials development for quantum computing, energy and medicine. We discuss the open, highly integrated and data-driven microscopy architecture needed to realize transformative discoveries in the coming decade.

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Fig. 1: The electron microscopy framework.
Fig. 2: Microscopy data-production rates and analysis workflows.


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This commentary is the result of discussions from the first in a series of Next-Generation Transmission Electron Microscopy (NexTEM) workshops, held at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in October 2018. S.R.S. thanks A. Lang, B. Matthews and J. Hart for reviewing the manuscript. This work was supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Nuclear Processing Science Initiative (NPSI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). PNNL is a multi-programme national laboratory operated for the US Department of Energy (DOE) by Battelle Memorial Institute under contract no. DE-AC05-76RL0-1830. This work was supported in part by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US DOE under contracts no. DE-AC02-05CH11231 (C.O.), no. 10122 (S.R.S. and Y.D.), no. KC0201010 ERKCS89 (S.V.K.), no. KC0203020:67037 (D.L.) and no. DE-AC02-05-CH11231 within the KC22ZH programme (H.Z.). This work was supported in part by the US DOE, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division (A.P.-L.). M.M. acknowledges the Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NanoEarth), a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), supported by NSF (ECCS 1542100). This project has received funding from the European Research Council under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (grant no. 856538, project 3D MAGiC; and grant no. 823717, project ESTEEM3 (R.E.D.-B.)). X.Z. acknowledges support from the DOE BES Geosciences Program at PNNL (FWP 56674). The work was partly performed at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (S.V.K.) and the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (K.H.), which are Office of Science User Facilities operated for the US DOE. Work at the Molecular Foundry was supported by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the US DOE under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231. A portion of the microscopy shown was performed at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a national scientific user facility sponsored by the DOE’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at PNNL. L.J. acknowledges SFI grants AMBER2-12/RC/2278-P2 and URF/RI/191637. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-mission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the US DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA-0003525. The views expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the views of the US DOE or the US government.

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Correspondence to Steven R. Spurgeon or Mitra L. Taheri.

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Spurgeon, S.R., Ophus, C., Jones, L. et al. Towards data-driven next-generation transmission electron microscopy. Nat. Mater. (2020).

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