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Vincenzo Grillo presented with a Bessel Research Award

July 2016

Prof. Vincenzo Grillo from the Istituto Nanoscienze in Modena, currently a Visiting Scientist at the Peter Grünberg Institute, at the Microstructure Research division (PGI-5) and at the Ernst Ruska-Centre (ER-C), has been presented with the prestigious Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel international research award during the Annual Meeting of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin in July. The Italian electron microscopist was honoured with the prize for his studies on phase holograms.

PrizeProf. Vincenzo Grillo (left) during the award ceremony.
Copyright: Humboldt Foundation/David Ausserhofer

Each year the Humboldt Foundation grants the Bessel award to mid-career researchers and academics who have already attained international excellence, and whose ideas or discoveries have potential for relevant future development. It includes a 6-12 month research period in Germany which Grillo chose to spend at PGI-5 and ER-C.

Prof. Grillo has been in Jülich over the past six months and plans to stay for at least another half-year. “The ER-C is one of the most renowned centres for microscopy in the world with top level microscopes and a strong commitment to methodological work”, says Grillo. “Moreover, I share a common interest in beam shaping with Prof. Rafal Dunin-Borkowski, the institute director. There are hardly any other places in the world where I could have carried out my research.”

Grillo’s most important achievements in the past include the introduction of novel electron microscopy techniques for the quantitative analysis of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images using computer aided analyses, simulations (first parallel computing code for scanning TEM image simulation), and experiments. “However, since 2012, I have been leading my group in Modena in a new direction”, explains Grillo.

“I am currently working on the control of electron wave function, opening new routes in microscopy. This comprises the introduction of novel optical elements such as electron holograms for controlling phase, but I have also been working on methods to control electron spin, a degree of freedom that is seldom considered in microscopy. The aim is to bring ideas and methods partly derived from light optics and quantum optics into the realm of electron microscopy, with two objectives in mind: to carry out basic science experiments, and to provide a new optimized approach to measurements in material science. In the end, what I am trying to bring about is a kind of 'quantum revolution' in the world of electron microscopy.”

Research interests and short biography of Prof. Vincenzo Grillo