Announcing the establishment of the DICP-DENS Microscopy Centre

Announcing the establishment of the DICP-DENS Microscopy Centre

From left to right: Wei Liu, Yu Xiao, Lijian Geng, Yan Jin, Dan Zhou, Xi Liu

We believe that it is now more important than ever to expand our efforts in enabling fundamental research in the fields of catalysis and sustainable energy. In line with the emphasis we place on multinational collaborations, we have partnered with the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) in China in order to accelerate these fields and achieve results together. To celebrate the establishment of the DICP-DENS in-situ electron microscopy technology application laboratory, an exciting ceremony was recently held at DICP in which numerous speakers took the stage to share their areas of expertise. 

The DICP-DENS collaborative application laboratory combines the extensive research capabilities of DICP, China’s leading and most influential catalysis research institute, with the advanced technology and outstanding research and development capabilities of DENSsolutions in the in-situ field. DENSsolutions will equip a complete Climate G+ system at the Xishan Lake Electron Microscope Center for in-situ atmosphere and heating TEM studies. The aim of this collaboration is to expand the frontiers of catalysis research and deepen our understanding of the energy conservation process. 

Opening ceremony

The event was hosted by Yan Jin, Deputy Director of the Energy Research Technology Platform of DICP. During the opening ceremony, both Yu Xiao, Director of Science and Technology Department of DICP, and Lijian Geng, Chairman and General Manager of ALTA Scientific delivered speeches.

Host Yan Jin opening the ceremony

Researcher Yu Xiao first welcomed the guests and expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration between DICP and DENSsolutions for the realization of this application laboratory. He also relayed his hopes that this cooperation could develop in a long-term and stable manner, and that the results of this cooperation could be realized as soon as possible.

On behalf of ALTA Scientific and DENSsolutions, Lijian Geng then made an affectionate review depicting the lengthy history of the cooperation between the two parties, thanking those who made it possible. He expressed his gratitude to the many experts and professors who could not be present for the opening as well as to DENSsolutions CEO, Ben Bormans and CCO, Robert Endert for their continuous support.

Finally, DENSsolutions CTO Dr. Hugo Perez Garza delivered a digital speech, in which he expressed his excitement and gratitude on behalf of the DENSsolutions team for the trust that DICP has placed in us as a reliable partner. In his video, he signed the contract that formalizes the collaboration and expressed his confidence in a fruitful collaboration. This celebratory video is shown below.

Dr. Hugo Perez Garza delivering a digital celebratory speech 

Unveiling ceremony

After the opening event, researcher Yu Xiao, representing DICP, and Geng Lijian, representing DENSsolutions and ALTA Scientific, held an unveiling ceremony of the joint laboratory. This marked the official establishment of the DICP-DENS in-situ electron microscopy technology application laboratory.

Yu Xiao and Lijian Geng during the unveiling ceremony

Application seminar

In the second half of the conference, three speakers were invited to give talks during the application seminar. First, Professor Wei Liu gave a detailed introduction to the current configuration and construction of the Xishan Lake electron microscope platform of DICP and the team’s latest research results in the in-situ field. He also shared his thoughts and prospects on in-situ electron microscopy technology.

Next, DENSsolutions Senior Application Scientist Dr. Dan Zhou introduced in detail the leading advantages of the DENSsolutions Climate in-situ TEM gas and heating system and the latest research and development progress. She also shared some recent developments in application results.

Finally, Dr. Xi Liu from Shanghai Jiaotong University introduced his current application of in-situ aberration-corrected gas and heating TEM in heterogenous catalysis and the surface science of iron oxide reduction. He detailed the importance of the existence of in-situ TEM and explained that when combined with other characterization methods, in-situ TEM can have both super-high-resolution volume and surface characterization capabilities, thereby providing a basis for the establishment of new characterization methodology.

The three speeches during the application seminar deepened everyone’s understanding of in-situ technology and won a warm applause from the participants.

Wei Liu presenting the latest research results of the DICP research team in the in situ field

Dr. Dan Zhou giving a speech about the DENSsolutions Climate system

Xi Liu giving a speech about his current application of in situ TEM 

We are very excited to unravel the ample potential that this collaboration has in regards to advancing research in the field of catalysis and sustainable energy, and we hope to play a key role in the fight against climate change.

Check out ALTA Scientific’s article:

Learn more about our Climate system:

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Installing the first Stream system in Singapore at the Nanyang Technological University

Installing the first Stream system in Singapore at the Nanyang Technological University

Standing next to the recently installed Stream system: from left, Dr. Anastasia Shebanova, Dr. Martial Duchamp and Jeffrey George from the Nanyang Technological University

We are happy to announce that the first ever Stream system in Singapore has recently been installed! For this event we interviewed Dr. Martial Duchamp from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. In this interview, we discussed NTU’s advanced microscopy facility and the various applications that LPEM users are interested in, as well as how our Stream system has greatly benefited their research.  

Can you tell me a bit about the microscopy facility at the Nanyang Technological University?

The Nanyang Technological University has a shared microscopy facility called FACTS (Facility for Analysis Characterization Testing & Simulation) that specializes in characterization in the field of electron microscopy and x-ray techniques. FACTS provides state-of-the-art electron microscopes and X-ray instruments as well as the expertise to operate them to all of NTU and beyond.

This shared facility was created around 20 years ago. Four years ago, we had an extension of the facility, and got two aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopes as well as a new building where these TEMs were installed. The first TEM is a JEOL JEM-ARM200F, and the second is the JEOL JEM-GrandARM that is both probe- and image-corrected. Moreover, we have some local technicians and engineers who take care of these microscopes and make sure the facility is running well.

What type of applications are Stream users at the facility interested in?

Users of the facility are interested in a wide range of applications. In regards to LPEM users, we are using the DENSsolutions Stream system to study the liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) aspect of biological systems. Specifically, we are interested in the process called coacervation, which involves starting with a mixed phase of polymer or proteins dispersed in a solvent, and by changing certain conditions like the pH, temperature or salt concentration you can go from this diluted phase to a solid phase via phase separation. We are particularly interested in phase separation in order to understand how we go from these diluted solutions of drugs or proteins to solid matter.

Aside from liquid TEM, I am also interested in using in situ and operando TEM to observe 2D materials and the evolution of these materials versus temperature, as well as solar cells and batteries.

Can you tell us who won the grant to acquire the Stream system?

Associate Professor Ali Miserez, the lead PI of the project titled “Phase Separation-Regulated Life, In and Outside of Cells”, was awarded the Ministry of Education (MOE) Tier 3 grant worth 8.5 million Singaporean dollars. This research programme aims to closely integrate the tools of cell biology and colloidal biochemistry with the framework developed in the materials science of polymer science, soft matter, and complex fluids. The goal is to unravel LLPS-mediated functional organization across multiple biological length scales. Part of this grant was used to acquire the Stream system.

This 5-year project started last summer, and we are just starting to employ new researchers. In fact, some students already started a couple months ago and we expect to have some more people joining.

What particular features of Stream attracted you to the system?

For our experiments, it was essential to find a way to control the flux of the liquid within the liquid cell in order to look at reactions or processes occurring on the location of the electron beam. This is something we were unable to do with previous generations of holders and chips. The DENSsolutions Stream system is the only system that allows you to completely control the liquid flux. This unique capability is what intrigued us most about the system.

Moreover, as a result of the Nano-cell’s special inlet-outlet design, we are also able to fully control the pressure and liquid thickness. Other features that we found very attractive include the control systems like the heating control unit and the pressure-based pump, which are considerably more elaborate compared to what we had in the past.

In your experience so far, how have you found the Stream system?

The assembly in regards to the closing of the cell is quite straightforward, and so far we have not had any leakage issues. Just by closing the cell, it becomes airtight, which is a great advantage of the system. Moreover, what I really appreciate about the system is the ability to have complete control over the flow of the liquid.

Dr. Mihaela Albu

Dr. Martial Duchamp
Assistant Professor | Nanyang Technological University

Dr. Martial Duchamp is an Assistant Professor in the school of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His research interests include the development of innovative operando TEM methods for application to solar cells, batteries and fuel cells devices, as well as obtaining a fundamental understanding of 2D materials to reveal their unprecedented electrical properties at local scale.

Learn more about Stream:

Discover Martial Duchamp’s publications:


Discover publications made possible by Stream:

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Meet our new Marketing Communications Specialist, Lama Elboreini

Meet our new Marketing Communications Specialist, Lama Elboreini

Robert Endert DENSsolutions

The global circumstances in today’s society have entirely shifted the business landscape, with no industry having the luxury of being exempt. Like most companies, we have had to find innovative ways of adapting to the changes fluctuating around us. Specifically, we needed to find somebody who could expand our marketing capabilities and initiate a new era of online product demonstrations, as well as act as our brand’s voice in a time where communication is evolving online.

We are lucky to have found just the right person for the job, Lama Elboreini, our new Marketing Communications Specialist. Lama has a multifaceted understanding of consumer behavior, advertising and brand development as a result of her Master’s degree in Marketing Management from the Rotterdam School of Management. Her role at DENSsolutions is focused on further positioning the company as the hub for the worldwide in situ EM community, working together with scientists to achieve meaningful research outcomes for global challenges.

We asked Lama to introduce herself so you can learn more about her background and her role at the company.

“My name is Lama Elboreini and I am a 21-year-old Egyptian national who has never lived a day in Egypt. I was born in Kuwait City, raised in Abu Dhabi and have spent the past 4 years and a half of my life right here in the Netherlands.

I moved to the Netherlands when I was 17 years old to pursue a BSc in International Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University. During this three-year study, I explored the multitude of facets characterizing the business environment, from finance and accounting to supply chain management to my personal favorite, marketing. Although I found many of my bachelor’s courses interesting, nothing quite did it for me like marketing. Realizing this, in the third and final year of my study, I did a digital marketing and communications internship at Accenture the Netherlands. From this internship, I acquired hands-on experience and knowledge about content marketing, search engine optimization and thought leadership. It was during this time where I developed a deep passion for marketing and ultimately chose to pursue a master’s degree in the field.

In my efforts to challenge myself and develop my marketing, copywriting and interpersonal skills further, I decided to do a second marketing communications internship with Accenture alongside my MSc in Marketing Management at RSM. Through working with a large, co-dependent and highly diverse team, it was particularly in this internship that I learned the necessity and value of teamwork.

My next objective as a fresh master’s graduate a few months ago was to land a position at a company that could offer me a stimulating work environment within the realm of marketing. I came across an opening for a position that was exactly what I was looking for: Marketing Communications Specialist at DENSsolutions. The position entailed handling online product demonstrations, hosting insightful webinars and creating compelling content on the website and social media channels – all of which really excited me. Being so far from this vast world of nanoscience, I had never heard of the company before, let alone any company within the field. However, after extensively researching DENSsolutions and the field of in situ electron microscopy, I was blown away by the capabilities of their solutions and the key role that nanotechnology plays in solving global issues. 

After a full month of immersing myself within this intriguing world of nanoscience, and connecting with top researchers around the globe, I’m confident that I have made the right choice. I’m excited to use my digital marketing expertise to advance DENSsolutions’s capabilities and strengthen customer relationships. I’m also really happy to have the opportunity of initiating my career at a company of cutting-edge standards like DENSsolutions, within such a welcoming and knowledgeable team!”

Thank you for reading. If you would like to know more about Lama, don’t hesitate to contact her via email or LinkedIn.

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