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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News

Advent calendar - December 9th - Ewout van der Veer

09 December 2023

In the Zernike Institute Advent Calendar, we are presenting 24 short spotlights in December. In these specials, we highlight PhD students, postdocs, support staff and technicians of our research groups and team - providing a glimpse in their typical day at work. In Episode 9 meet Ewout van der Veer, PhD student in the Nanostructures of Functional Oxides group of Prof. Beatriz Noheda and part of CogniGron.

Ewout van der Veer
Ewout van der Veer

The transmission electron microscope is one of the most powerful tools for imaging the atomic structure of materials. Fortunately, our institute hosts one of the most powerful electron microscopes in the world. During my PhD in the Nanostructures of Functional Oxides group, I have used this microscope to investigate thin films of all kinds of oxide materials to relate their atomic structure to their functional properties.

However, to get the most out of this microscope we need to perform statistical analyses on the images it produces. That is why I have spent some time developing a software package for analyzing our TEM images and extracting as much useful information from them as possible. Using this software, we can now determine the positions of atoms in the images with a precision of as little as 5 pm. Using that information, we can get properties such as strain and ferroelectric polarization at the scale of single atoms.

Because I am currently the only member of our group who works with the TEM, I have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with others and help them answer questions they have in their research. I hope I can continue doing that in the future!

Last modified:12 December 2023 11.42 a.m.

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