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The Honda Foundation, co-founded by Soichiro Honda and his younger brother Benjiro Honda, and currently headed by Hiromori Kawashima, is pleased to announce the Honda Prize for the year 2008 will be awarded to a German team of researchers of electron microscopy led by Dr. Maximilian Haider, Dr. Harald Rose, and Dr. Knut Urban.
Their team developed the world-first Atomic Electron Microscope, a type of transmission electron microscope (TEM)*1 capable of atomic-level imaging using aberration correction technology. The team will be the 29th laureate of the prize.
The basic theory of aberration correction for high-resolution imaging was introduced by Dr. Otto Scherzer of Germany in the 1940's. Many researchers attempted, but failed, its implementation as an aberration-corrected electron microscope; and experts had questioned its technical feasibility by the time the laureates, who thought otherwise, were teamed in 1989. The laureates refined the basic theory in light of materials science and combined it with electron optical engineering techniques to attain the mechanical stability required for electron microscopy. In 1997 they succeeded in making an aberration-corrected TEM that is capable of high-resolution imaging of atomic structures.
This aberration-corrected microscopic technology used for the TEM is now made available to microscope manufacturers in Germany, Japan and other countries through CEOS, a project spin-off company headed by Dr. Haider, to be distributed worldwide for its applications. The TEM has become one of the essential instruments for research and development on an atomic level. It is used not only to produce ultrafine particles for advanced, high-integrated semiconductor devices, but to analyze and examine the atomic arrangements, structures, and binding of various materials in industries like metallic engineering, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. Many users expect new materials could be discovered and macroscopic properties could be analyzed at atomic levels by use of this technology.
In the research project, Dr. Rose has been chiefly responsible for the basic design of the corrector and the refinement of the theory of image formation, whereas Dr. Urban has worked for the application of the refined theory based on his expertise in materials science, and Dr. Haider has used his knowledge in electron optical engineering for the elaborate design and development of this new aberration-corrected technology. The Honda Foundation recognizes the three physicists for their spirit of challenge as well as substantial contributions to human life through their sophisticated technological achievement that we believe embodies the ethos of Ecotechnology.*2
The 29th award ceremony for the Honda Prize will be held at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo on Monday, November 17th 2008. In addition to the prize diploma and medal, a prize of 10 million yen will be awarded to the team of the laureates.
1 Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM)
A type of electron microscope which allows the user to determine the internal structure
of materials on the image created by a beam of electrons being transmitted through an
ultra thin specimen, interacting with the specimen as it passes through it.
Honda Foundation's guiding principle since 1979 coined from ecology and technology,
where ecology connotes the entire global system including human civilization. This
technologic concept calls for harmonious development and use of technology with
human beings and their environment.
About The Honda Foundation
We are dedicated to the advancement of ecotechnology, a technology that advocates both the natural and human environments. Our aim has its origin in the fervent wish of our founder, Soichiro Honda that "Science and technology must serve to ensure peoples’ happiness." The Honda Foundation is engaged in a variety of innovative activities worldwide, utilizing science and technology for the genuine welfare and peace of mankind through coexistence with ecosystems, making way for pioneering research and innovations, and constantly seeking out new possibilities.
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