Published in the Research School of Physics Event Horizon
Vol45 Issue8 24–28 February 2020

ACMM 26: 16-20 February 2020

The 26th Australian Conference on Microscopy and Microanalysis started with 9 pre-conference workshops at the ANU (RSP and JCSMR) on Saturday and Sunday with international speakers running some of these workshops. As is the tradition, we had a theme for the conference and this year, it was "2020 Visions in Microscopy”. It is a interdisciplinary biennial Australian conference that rotates between the different states and was strongly supported by two colleges (CoS,CECS) and four schools (RSP, RSES, RSEEME, JCSMR).

The conference is a multidisciplinary event encompassing physics, geology, materials science, medical science, plant science with techniques and applications with microscopy techniques involving light, electron, X-ray and other probes. The conference started with a wonderful opening address by the DVC-R Keith Nugent who is a pioneer in phase microscopy and the opening plenary was delivered by Prof. David Muller (Cornell University) on making every electron count with new electron detectors achieving an impressive resolution of 0.39Å by electron ptychography, this is now in the annals of the Guinness book of record.

A special evening lecture was delivered by video-link from the 2014 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry in super-resolution fluorescence microscopy showing recent development in this field with a donut shaped beam. The second plenary speaker was Prof. Carolyn Larabell, Director of the National Centre for X-ray Tomography, showing impressive 3D images of single cells with resolution of 2.34nm with 234eV soft X-rays. In particular, this microscopy technique resolve non-fluorescent features which are virtually undetected in conventional fluorescence microscopy techniques used in life sciences.

Both pre-conference workshops and conference were very successful last week with even the weather coming to the party especially on Tuesday when hailstorms were predicted to hit Canberra.

The above photo is of Huyen Pham (EME). Huyen was awarded the John Farrant Prize at ACMM 26. The prize is awarded for a scientifically significant student presentation given at the ACMM in the area of the Physical Sciences. A panel of international and international microscopists judge the suitability of presentations and award the prize. Well done Huyen. 

A big thank you to all involved.



Assoc. Prof. Jennifer Wong-Leung