NUSNNI - ZEISS Seminar and ORION NanoFab Workshop

NUSNNI - ZEISS Seminar and ORION NanoFab Workshop

27 - 28 February 2019

27 - 28 February 2019 08:45 AM - 5:15 PM | National University of Singapore - T-lab Building

NUS Nanoscience & Nanotechnology Initiative (NUSNNI) - ZEISS Seminar and Workshop

Nanoscale Structuring and Imaging of Materials

Nanofabrication is the design and manufacturing of devices with dimensions measured in nanometers. To use the advantages of nanotechnology, you need to create small structures. Charged particles like ions or electrons are often your method of choice. The interaction between the ion or electron beam and the sample surface allows you to manipulate structures or properties of the surface. When used in combination with different gases, you are able to perform complex processes such as etching or material deposition. This enables creation of superior new materials and systems with complex mechanical, electronic, optical, magnetic or fluidic functions.

This educational seminar is a partnership between NUSNNI and ZEISS. It will bring insights into the latest technology regarding Microscopy (Light, Electron, X-ray and Ion) and Nanofabrication for both Materials Scientists and Biologists. 

Agenda and Abstracts

  • Schedule
    8:45 AM
    Welcome note
    9:00 AM
    Materials Issues in Battery Technology
    Dr. Stefan Adams, National University of Singapore
    9:30 AM
    Imaging & Analysis of Batteries
    ZEISS Speaker, ZEISS
    10:00 AM
    Focused Ion Beam systems - A brief history of the technology
    Beam Microscopy: Evolution and Application

    Dr. Venkatesan Thirumalai Venky, National University of Singapore
    10:30 AM
    Coffee break
    11:00 AM
    Imaging Techniques for Material Science Research
    Dr. Hanfang Hao, ZEISS
    11:30 AM
    Cutting Edge of STEM
    Dr. Stephen John Pennycook, National University of Singapore
    12:00 NN
    Advanced Characterization & Nanofabrication Using He & Ne Ions, with the ZEISS ORION NanoFab
    Dr. Vignesh Viswanathan, ZEISS
    12:30 PM
    1:30 PM
    NUSNNI Poster Session
    2:30 PM
    Flexible Electronics
    Dr. Aaron Thean, National University of Singapore
    3:00 PM
    Next Generation Sensor Devices
    Dr. Vincent Lee, National University of Singapore
    3:30 PM Coffee break
    4:00 PM
    Electron Microscopy: A Fantastic Tool for Biologists
    Dr. Isabelle Bonne, National University of Singapore
    4:30 PM 3D SEM Technique for Bio-Medical Research
    Dr. Philipp Bastians, ZEISS
    5:00 PM Closing Note
    Tonmoy Kundu, ZEISS
    5:15 PM End of Seminar 
  • Speakers & abstracts

    9:00 AM // Dr. Stefan Adams, Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering
    National University of Singapore
    Materials Issues in Battery Technology

    Major breakthroughs in battery technologies are needed for electric vehicles that could safely drive longer on a single charge and recharge promptly. At the same time the deployment of wind and solar power for a sustainable economy requires powerful low-cost large-scale batteries with long cycle-life made from sustainable materials resources. It is obvious that the maturing Li-ion battery (LIB) technology relying on costly cathode materials, flammable electrolytes with limited electrochemical stability windows and bulky anodes with limited rate capabilities cannot offer the performance levels required for these key applications. In this talk, current R&D trends in overcoming these challenges will be outlined.

    Back to the future - From Li-ion batteries to Li metal batteries: One of the most promising approaches to enhance the energy density and rate capability is to move back from LIBs to batteries that use metallic Li instead as the negative electrode. Replacing conventional graphite or oxide anodes with Li metal opens up a pathway to gravimetric energy densities up to 400 Wh/kg and volumetric energy densities approaching 1000 Wh/L. This approach had been abandoned a few decades ago due to the lack of electrolytes that at that time were known to be stable in contact with metal anodes and high voltage cathodes as well as the hazard of short-circuits by Li dendrites. Recent progress on solid electrolytes raises expectations that these could enable Li-metal batteries by acting as artificial anode protecting solid-electrolyte interfaces and mechanical barriers against dendrite growth.

    Quidquid agis ... respice finem – focus on sustainable and scalable designs: For stationary large-scale applications where low cost and volumetric energy density gain importance, analogous strategies are pursued for Na-based batteries, which of course only makes sense if the low-cost high-performance anodes are combined with affordable, scalable cathodes, where high-cost transition metal compounds (e.g. Cobalt) are replaced by earth-abundant cathode materials.

    Nihil nisi solidum - From liquid electrolytes to all-solid state batteries: While compatibility with current LIB fabrication may initially favour the replacement of anodes by Li-metal : anode-protecting membrane combinations, it appears natural to get rid of flammable liquid electrolytes altogether in order to enhance safety, (volumetric) energy density as well as reduce the need for enclosure of individual cells and enable longer cycle life systems. While data of individual solid electrolytes imply that this should be within reach, the key challenge remains to be the realisation of electrochemically stable electrolyte:electrode interfaces that ensure smooth charge transfer over a long cycle life despite the volume changes on cycling.

    Getting the full picture - From materials design to system design: To overcome performance bottlenecks at system level it is widely recognised that the research focus has to shift from individual materials with record performance to a rational design of devices, which mainly involves the identification and engineering of favourable electrode:electrolyte combinations. Major progress can be expected in this area from combining the emerging experimental in situ and operando characterisation technologies with computational approaches.

    Do What You Do Best: Moving from computer-aided to AI design: Analysing the wealth of complex experimental data e.g. from operando experiments or computational characterisations of a vast number of potential materials combinations and matching them to requirement profiles tailored for specific applications with an open mind for novel battery architec¬tures should be a fitting artificial intelligence problem. Thus, the most effective way to accelerate the develop¬ment of high performance energy storage systems may be to set up a dedicated battery design system and feed it with dependable standardised data, leaving the creative design to the AI tool. 


    About the speaker

    Stefan Adams, PhD

    After his Ph.D. from Saarbrücken/Germany, Stefan Adams worked at the Max-Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart and completed his habilitation at Göttingen University before joining National University of Singapore in 2005, where he is now Assoc. Professor for Materials Science and Engineering as well as Adjunct Researcher at the A*Star Institute for Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) and the NUS Centre for Advanced 2D Materials. Adams serves the Asian Society for Solid State Ionics as their Secretary, the Materials Research Society of Singapore as Joint Secretary and is a member of the Singapore National Committee for Crystallography. He is Editorial Board member of several journals incl. Acta Crystallographica B, Solid State Ionics, Ionics etc. His research interests focus on the design of structures and interfaces with optimized transport properties in nanostructured oxides and chalcogenides for advanced energy storage and conversion devices.

    read abstract

    9:30 AM // ZEISS SPEAKER

    Imaging & Analysis of Batteries

    10:00 AM // Dr. Venkatesan Thirumalai Venky, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics Faculty of Engineering
    National University of Singapore
    Focused Ion Beam systems - A brief history of the technology and where we are headed in the future

    In this talk I will give a brief overview of the development of focused ion beam (FIB) systems starting with liquid metal ion sources to the current field emission sources. I will start with some of the early developments at Bell Labs where I worked on the development of a liquid metal ion source based focused ion beam systems and finding suitable applications for this technology. I will give examples of a number of material modification where the FIB systems could be of value.

    The use of these ion beam systems can be classified largely in to materials modification, lithography and high resolution imaging. I would like to give some examples from the early work done at NUS on our first Helium ion microscope system and speculate on futuristic experiments.

    About the speaker

    Prof. T. Venkatesan

    Prof. T. Venkatesan is currently the Director of the Nano Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUSNNI) where he is a Professor of ECE, Physics, MSE and NGS. He wore various hats at Bell Labs and Bellcore before becoming a Professor at University of Maryland. As the inventor of the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) process, he has over 760 papers and 30 patents and is globally among the top one hundred physicists (ranked at 66 in 2000) in terms of his citations (Over 43,800 with a hirsch Index of 106 - Google Scholar). He has graduated over 45 PhDs, 35 Post Docs and over 35 undergraduates. He is also the founder and Chairman of Neocera, a company specializing in the area of PLD and magnetic field imaging systems. Close to 10 of the researchers (PhD students and Post Docs) under him have become entrepreneurs starting over 17 different commercial enterprises. He is a Fellow of the APS, winner of the Bellcore Award of excellence, Guest Professor at Tsinghua University (China), Winner of the George E. Pake Prize awarded by American Physical Society (2012), President’s gold medal of the Institute of Physics Singapore, Academician of the Asia Pacific Academy of Materials, Fellow of the World Innovation Forum, was a member of the Physics Policy Committee (Washington DC), the Board of Visitors at UMD and the Chairman, Forum of Industry and Applications of Physics at APS. He was awarded the outstanding alumnus award from two Indian Institute of Technologies- Kanpur (2015) and Kharagpur (2016), India.

    read abstract

    11:00 AM // Dr. Hanfang Hao, Business Development Specialist
    ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions
    Imaging Techniques for Material Science Research

    11:30 AM // Dr. Stephen J. Pennycook, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering
    National University of Singapore
    Cutting Edge of STEM

    The aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) provides real space imaging and spectroscopy with unprecedented sensitivity down to the single atom level. Thoroughly understanding and tailoring structural defects is extremely significant for understanding the structure-property relations of existing high-performance materials, and more importantly, guiding the design of new materials with improved properties. Several representative studies will be presented.

    In 2D materials, sub-Ångstrom information transfer can be achieved at only 40 kV, and point defects and their local environments directly identified to correlate with properties. New edge structures in nanoporous MoS2 are found to exhibit excellent catalytic properties [1], and 2D Mo metal membranes can be fabricated from MoSe2 films via beam induced sputtering of Se [2].

    In piezoelectrics, the development of lead-free materials with enhanced properties is urgently required. Precise mapping of atomic displacements reveals a hierarchical nanodomain structure as the origin of excellent properties, the coexistence of ferroelectric phases inside nanodomains and gradual polarization rotation between them [3,4]. Similarly, in thermoelectrics, a hierarchical structure ranging from point defects through nanoscale and microscale precipitates results in a high-performance material with lattice thermal conductivity approaching the theoretical minimum [5].

    In oxide thin films, interplay of octahedral rotations, charge transfer and interdiffusion has major influence on carrier density and mobility and magnetic properties. Atomic resolution mapping of atomic displacements provides the most fundamental understanding of ferroelectric properties.

    Finally, recent progress in optical sectioning to reveal the 3D structure of extended defects will be presented.

    [1] X. Zhao, et al., Nano Lett, 18 (2017) 482–490.
    [2] X. Zhao, et al., Adv. Mater. (2018) 1707281.
    [3] T. Zheng, et al., Energy Environ. Sci, 10 (2017) 528–537.
    [4] B. Wu, et al., J Am Chem Soc, 138 (2016)15459–15464.
    [5] Y. Xiao, et al., J Am Chem Soc, 139 (2017) 18732–18738.


    About the speaker

    Stephen J. Pennycook

    Stephen J. Pennycook is a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Dept., National University of Singapore, an Adjunct Professor in the University of Tennessee and Adjoint Professor in Vanderbilt University. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Microscopy Society of America, the Institute of Physics and the Materials Research Society and has received the Microbeam Analysis Society Heinrich Award, the Materials Research Society Medal, the Institute of Physics Thomas J. Young Medal and Award and the Materials Research Society Innovation in Characterization Award.

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    12:00 NN // Dr. Vignesh Viswanathan, Product & Applications Sales Specialist
    ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions
    ORION NanoFab – Tool for Advanced Characterization & Nanofabrication

    The ORION NanoFab is an imaging, nanofabrication and characterization platform based on a high brightness and stable Gas Field Ion Source (GFIS). The GFIS employed exhibits a low energy spread, small virtual source size and a high brightness to produce fine probes of Helium and Neon ion beams. This, in conjunction with the shallow escape depth (<1 nm) of the secondary electrons generated by the incident ions, contribute to the high spatial resolution achievable with this technology. In addition to the high resolution, the integrated electron flood gun enables imaging of insulating samples without any conductive coating without charging artifacts. This has opened the application of this technology to a broad spectrum of multidisciplinary applications from basic materials science and semiconductor applications to the biological sciences.

    Furthermore, the appreciable sputter yield from helium and neon ions and the small probe size enable material modification and nanopatterning capabilities at the sub-10 nm dimension. Direct milling and material modification with sub-10 nm features on graphene and other 2D materials, plasmonic devices on metals, nanopores and lithography of resists, direct metal and insulator deposition using gas injection systems have already been demonstrated with this tool.

    The sputter process with the primary He or Ne ions results in secondary ions generated from the sample surface like in Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS). By integrating a custom designed mass spectrometer to this platform, analytical and elemental characterization capabilities have been enabled to add-on to the existing capabilities of the tool. The ability to perform high sensitivity surface analysis and depth profiling with large dynamic range detecting all elements and differentiating isotopes with SIMS complements the surface sensitive imaging observed with this tool. We have demonstrated that our instrument is capable of producing elemental SIMS maps with lateral resolution down to 12 nm. Furthermore, the instruments opens up an in-situ correlative imaging technique combining high resolution SE images and SIMS elemental maps for various applications.


    About the speaker

    Vignesh Viswanathan, PhD

    Dr Vignesh Viswanathan is a Product & Applications Sales Specialist in Materials Electron Microscopy with ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions, Asia Pacific. Prior to ZEISS, Vignesh worked in Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) performing failure analysis on their leading nodes GPUs and APUs. He graduated from National University of Singapore with a PhD focusing on a novel plasmonics imaging instrumentation and advanced nanofabrication using the Helium Ion Microscope. He specializes in nanopatterning, ion beam lithography and imaging with ORION NanoFab. Vignesh also supports FESEMs, CrossBeam and XRM.

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    2:30 PM // Dr. Aaron Thean, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    National University of Singapore
    Flexible Electronics

    3:30 PM // Dr. Vincent Lee, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    National University of Singapore
    Next Generation Sensor Devices

    4:00 PM // Dr. Isabelle Bonne, Head Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Life Sciences Institute
    National University of Singapore
    Electron Microscopy, a fantastic tool for Biologists

    Electron Microscopy is a powerful imaging tool for analysis of composition, ultrastructure and function of biological samples and materials. From tissues and cells to subcellular structures and macromolecular complexes, Transmission and Scanning electron microscopy provides 2D and 3D morphological analysis. Studying and analysing structures in minute detail means we can learn more about how they function, leading to new insights into health and disease.

    The presentation will describe several key examples from case studies to illustrate the use of Electron Microscopy. In microorganisms, morphological characterization provided valuable insights into Chikungunya virus of epidemic potential, Enterovirus 71 infection of the brain in Hand, foot and Mouth disease, the role of pili in streptococci, the localization of UL44 protein in HCMV infection. Working with cells, we can observe how Drosophilia cells use tunneling nanotubes for transport, how Shigella survives in Hela cells, Listeria monocytogenes in zebrafish and Chikungunya virus in Mosquitoes.
    All are great examples of interactions between microorganisms and host cells and tissues.

    About the speaker

    Isabelle Bonne, PhD

    Dr Isabelle Bonne is a Cell Biologist in Electron Microscopy. She holds her PhD degree in Paris 7 University, France, working on the role of actin filaments in the mechanism of intracellular survival of Mycobacterium avium in macrophages. After a postdoctoral position in UCLA, USA, she joined the Electron Microscopy Facility at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, as a Research Engineer. During all these years, she focused on understanding physiological and pathological process through the use of advanced electron microscopy methods such as negative staining, cellular electron microscopy, cryo-electron microscopy and correlative microscopy. It is now over 4 years that Isabelle has been working as an imaging expert at the National University of Singapore. She joined the Life Science Institute in September 2016 to manage the Electron Microscopy Laboratory using different approaches in electron microscopy to study a large variety of biological samples ranging from macromolecules to tissues.

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    4:30 PM // Dr. Philipp Bastians, Product & Applications Sales Specialist
    ZEISS Research Microscopy Solutions
    3D SEM Technique for Bio-Medical Research

    Electron microscopy imaging has been used as a valuable research tool in the Life Sciences for many years. From research of single cell organisms, viruses or eukaryotic cells to identification of synaptic contacts between neurons, the ability to image biological samples in nanometer resolution has proven to be extremely valuable for many areas of biological research. The majority of these examples has been studied using the well-established Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) technique which requires thin sample preparations and limits the third dimension in scale and resolution.

    Recent developments in Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) opens the spectrum of high resolution and high-volume imaging of biological tissue. Based on sample block-face scanning in combination with milling (e.g. Focused Ion Beam (FIB)) or block-face cutting techniques, SEM enables dramatic resolution improvements in the third dimension above what is possible with TEM. Furthermore, SEM offers large field of view imaging and opens up applications that have previously been unachievable in the lab.

    In addition to the high volume and high-resolution imaging of SEM, FIB 3D SEM offers three-dimensional imaging of unstained cryo-frozen biological tissue opening the field for novel correlative studies using confocal microscopy. These include 3D colocalization of genetic markers and increase of context information for electron microscopy data.

    Further correlative applications utilize X-Ray Microscopy (XRM) to non-destructively assess sample structure prior to subsequent analysis using electron microscopy. The correlation of datasets across length scale and imaging modality (light microscopy to XRM to electron microscopy) extends the portfolio of applications for research that has previously been unachievable in the lab. In addition, pre-scanning assessment of biological samples prior to 3D electron microscope techniques such as serial sectioning SEM or Focused Ion Beam SEM reduces experiment failure rate and experiment duration.

    This talk will introduce some of the latest work in Life Science using 3D SEM techniques and discuss the future possibilities that imaging with this technology could provide.


    About the speaker

    Philipp Bastians, PhD


    • 2013-2018: University Munich, Germany, PhD
      Advisor: Prof. Dr. M. Helmstaedter, MPI Frankfurt
    • 2009-2012: University Heidelberg, Molecular Biotechnology,
      Degree: BSc


    • 2013 – 2018 Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Ph.D.
      Thesis ”Comparative Cortical Connectomics: Circuit Analysis Across Species and Cortex Types” Department Connectomics, Dr. M. Helmstaedter
    • 2011 Keyence Germany GmbH, Neu-Isenburg, Germany, Internship in Sales and Distribution of Light Microscopes
    • 2011 – 2013 Max-Planck-Institute of Neurobiology, Munich, Germany, Research Assistant
    • 2010 - 2011 Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg, Germany, Student Assistant.
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27 - 28 February 2019, Wed - Thur
8:45 AM - 5:15 PM

National University of Singapore
5A Engineering Drive 1, T-Lab Building
Level 5 Seminar Rooms



Mr. Fhu Chee Kong
Mobile: +65 9170 7917

Registration is required