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Atoms revealed by million dollar microscopes

Thu, 2 Dec 2004

Atoms revealed by million dollar microscopes

Two state-of-the-art electron microscopes were officially opened for use at Victoria University today by Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.


Two state-of-the-art electron microscopes were officially opened for use at Victoria University today by Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey. The microscopes will allow scientists to study areas not previously possible in New Zealand as they are capable of magnifications of up to a million times and can photograph atoms.

The microscopes were purchased by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. The Institute is led by world-renowned scientist Professor Paul Callaghan and is one of seven Centres of Research Excellence in the Tertiary Education Commission's CoREs programme.

"The opening of this microscope facility is an important step forward for the Institute and the New Zealand research community," Steve Maharey said. "It's a perfect example of what the CoREs programme was established to do.

"The CoRE, in this case the MacDiarmid Institute, partners with a tertiary institution to provide the resources and expertise necessary to produce world-class research. The value of such research is enormous - researchers benefit, tertiary institutions and their students benefit, and the reputation of New Zealand's status as a world-leader in research and innovation is enhanced.

"The scanning electron microscope is in wide use by researchers from six of the seven partner institutions that belong to this particular CoRE. It has also proven popular with year three chemistry students at the university and other local school children visiting the MacDiarmid Institute."

The role of the seven CoREs is to support leading edge, international standard innovative research that fosters excellence and contributes both to New Zealand's national goals and to knowledge transfer. The research may be in any area including the social sciences and humanities. Information can be found about the CoREs programme and the seven CoRE institutions at


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