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TIBML’s Hattar Oversees Microscopy Advance Through International Connections

Khalid Hattar

Associate Professor Khalid Hattar led the US contingent of an international team on a recent project to install a world-first user-adjustable pole piece (UAP) transmission electron microscope (TEM) lens.

He and a team of scientists and engineers from the Ultramicroscopy Research Group at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in Ireland, installed the lens at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), where Hattar previously worked as a research scientist in the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies. He is now the director of the Tennessee Ion Beam Materials Laboratory (TIBML) and a faculty member in the UT Department of Nuclear Engineering.

“I coordinated with TCD and SNL the date, time, and details of the install and oversaw the whole install process doing a lot of the actual disassembly and reassembly of the TEM myself,” said Hattar.

The installation of the lens is the result of five years of research and engineering efforts by the Dublin team, led by Assistant Professor Lewys Jones.

“This takes a major step forward as it permits the TEM to be a much more versatile microscope,” said Hattar. “You can now balance your lens gap and the ultimate theoretical resolution of your microscope for the experiment you have planned on the same microscope.”

The TIBML will stay connected to further development of these capabilities through several current contracts with SNL researchers.

“We are also in talks with TCD to get a next generation of this lens installed here at UT Knoxville,” said Hattar. This type of lens could potentially be added to the JEOL 2100+ TEM being installed this September at TIBML, bringing the latest microscopy technology to UT.

Read more about the installation from Trinity College Dublin.


Randall Brown,