ZEISS to leave the SALVE project: future of SALVE is secured

Project partners agree on a solution satisfactory for all partners.

ZEISS will leave the SALVE project in the wake of the decision to focus the electron microscopy branch on Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) Technology (Fig. 1). The SALVE (Sub-Angström Low-Voltage Electron Microscopy) project is a major research project dedicated to the goal of developing low-voltage transmission electron microscopy for the examination of radiation-sensitive samples with the highest possible atomic resolution. The project partners of the University of Ulm are ZEISS and CEOS. The SALVE project has received considerable funding from the German Research Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Art of the State of Baden-Württemberg.

In the past five years, the research project achieved outstanding results, attested to by numerous publications in professional journals and an entry in the 'Guinness Book of World Records’ for the discovery of the world’s thinnest layer of glass. By using novel image aberration correctors and monochromators, atomic resolution was for the first time ever achieved with low voltage (20kV). To date, it had been impossible to examine these thin radiation-sensitive materials with such a high resolution. The SALVE project thereby opens up new opportunities for material sciences, in particular when it comes to low-dimensional, radiation-sensitive materials such as graphene (consisting of one single layer of carbon atoms) or molecules on a graphene layer.

Furthermore, new applications for spectroscopic testing methods have been developed as part of the project. Using low-loss-spectroscopy, it was for the first time achieved to determine the exact dielectric (optical) properties and the fine structure of the valence band of silicon and graphene with an electron microscope. Another innovation was angle- and energy-resolved spectroscopy, a new method allowing simultaneous momentum- and energy-resolved measurements of the collective excitation states of self-supporting single-layer graphene sheets.

All scientific results and technological innovations developed by ZEISS for the research project will from now on be available to the other SALVE partners. By leaving the project, ZEISS makes way for new technological partners that can join the project, thereby securing the long-term future of new technological innovations to be developed as part of the SALVE project.