The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras today launched a Rs 40 crore remotely operable miscroscope, claimed to be the world’s first of its kind, that would enable precise view of atoms of a material. The Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) had been developed in a collaborative exercise involving eight top research institutions in the country, spearheaded by IIT-M, a statement from the institute said. Though there were several such devices available across world, the LEAP inaugurated at IIT-Madras was the first one that can be operated through a special terminal by researchers divided geographically, it said.
“This is the first time eight top research institutions in the country have collaborated to establish such a platform at a cost of nearly Rs 40 crore, spearheaded by IIT Madras,” the statement said. Special terminals to access the device have been set up in all the eight partner institutions.
IITs of Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur and Ropar along with International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) are the partner institutions who contributed Rs 2 crore each for the project. Besides, the Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS) had contributed Rs 3 crore.
The remaining funds came from the the Department of Science and Technology’s ‘Nano-mission’, the statement said. DST Secretary Prof Ashutosh Sharma was among those present at the inauguration of the device. Sharma said the government would announce policies on maintenance and sharing of science infrastructure, such as the LEAP, across the country so that they can be used by a large number of people.