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Shedding new light

With funding from the Australian Research Council, the Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy (MCEM) has commissioned a highly specialised, high-performance cathodoluminescence (CL) system from DELMIC B.V.

Many materials, such as semiconductors, solar cells, plasmonic devices, nanoparticles, pharmaceuticals, and geological specimens, emit light when stimulated with radiation.

A CL system contains a scanning electron microscope which uses a focussed probe of electrons to stimulate light emission. This creates a unique high-resolution tool which allows us to characterise the composition and optical and electronic properties of materials at the nanoscale.

The new CL system, which is installed within the MCEM, provides a world-class tool for Monash and other national and international researchers.

Professor Joanne Etheridge, Director of MCEM, said the capabilities of the new system are powerful.

"The system provides vital information about a range of materials that we could not obtain any other way," Professor Etheridge said.

"We have particularly enjoyed the collaboration with the expert team at DELMIC B.V. which has enabled us to tailor this system to meet the specific and challenging needs of our research community."

Dr Amelia Liu, MCEM Cathodoluminescence and Focused Ion Beam Manager, said the system has already provided promising insight.

"We are already getting exciting results using the Delmic SPARC cathodoluminescence system on solar cell materials, plasmonic nanoparticles and semiconductor nanowires," Dr Liu said.

"These results will drive discoveries and translations in renewables, electronics and advanced therapeutics."

Monash University, in conjunction with AXT and Delmic, organised a Cathodoluminscence Workshop on Thursday 4 February to coincide with the official opening of the facility.