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A new class of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopic microscope has been developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. The microscope will be used for advanced research on a wide range of technologically important materials systems. This new class of microscope was invented by Raymond Browning, of R. Browning Consultants and funded by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) contracts. A prototype of the new instrument, a Vector Potential Photoelectron Microscope (VPPEM), has been built in collaboration with the NIST Synchrotron Methods Group at the Laboratory's National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS).

The new microscope uses a unique imaging method, and opens up many novel experimental possibilities. According to Browning, VPPEM potentially has a thousand times greater spatial resolution than current technology can provide, and is expected to be the world's most advanced general purpose x-ray photoelectron microscope when combined with NIST's beamline at Brookhaven's new light source, NSLS-II. Currently under construction, NSLS-II will be the most advanced synchrotron light source in the world when it begins operating by 2015.

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