Molecular Foundry Staff Scientist, Peter Ercius, was selected by Berkeley Lab’s Lab-wide Recognition Committee to be one of two recipients of a 2017 Director’s Early Scientific Career Award. The Director’s Awards program recognizes significant achievements of Lab employees. Each year, these awards are given for accomplishments, leadership, collaboration, multi-disciplinary science, cross-divisional projects, and commitment to excellence in support of the Lab’s mission and strategic goals.
Since joining the Foundry’s National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) staff in 2011, Peter has established an electron tomography program at NCEM that is both accessible for Foundry users as well as a world-leading effort for atomic-resolution 3-D characterization of materials. The result has been nothing short of spectacular in terms of continuing to break resolution records for electron microscopy, resulting in a number of landmark papers for the community that allowed the visualization every atom in in a nanostructure in 3-D.
One of the primary motivations for the TEAM project at NCEM was to push atomic resolution imaging from two dimensions to three dimensions. At the end of the TEAM project in 2009 the two aberration-corrected microscopes at NCEM had demonstrated the nominal resolution to achieve this capability, but it was not a capability we could actually offer to users. Peter was asked to translate the complicated technical steps involved with electron tomography of image acquisition, alignment and reconstruction into a technique where users could both come for training and take part in the development of world-leading capabilities. Undoubtedly, Peter’s efforts at NCEM in this regard have been a complete success.