FIRST Development and Application of an Atomic-resolution Holography Electron Microscope


The aim of this project is to develop a "holography electron microscope" capable of observing quantum phenomena in the microscopic world. Utilizing the information on atoms and molecules, not only will it contribute to the progress of cutting-edge advancements in materials science, life science and environmental technologies, it will also contribute to the development of the fundamental science by opening up a new field in the quantum world.


Inteview videos are added featuring "Expectations for FIRST Tonomura Project" by three distinguished physicists, Dr. C. N. Yang, Dr. A. J. Leggett, and Dr. Y. Aharonov.
Dr. Nobuyuki Osakabe, General Manager of Hitachi Central Research Laboratory, was appointed Acting Principal Investigator of this project.
Tonomura FIRST International Symposium on "Electron Microscopy and Gauge Fields" sponsored by this project was held at Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo on May 9-10, 2012, with 33 invited presentations (11 from abroad and 22 from Japan) and 10 poster presentations. The total number of attendance was 268.
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Dr. Akira Tonomura, principal investigator of this project, passed away during the course of medical treatment on pancreatic cancer at 0:08 am, May 2, 2012. On this sad occasion we would like to express our gratitude to all who helped and supported him during his lifetime.
Tonomura FIRST International Symposium on "Electron Microscoopy and Gauge Fields" will be held at Keio Plaza Hotel on May 9-10, 2012. Invited Speakers from abroad include Nobel Laureates Professor Chen-Ning Yang and Professor Anthony J. Leggett, and other distinguished physicists Yakir Aharonov, Gordon Baym, and Christian Colliex.
A three-minute movie introducing this project is added,
featuring Dr. Akira Tonomura talking about his tenecious mind to be the world's best.
An article on Dr. Akira Tonomura was published in NIKKEI SCIENCE (science magazine) with the feature "The Japanese brains which changed the world."
the November issue of NIKKEI SCIENCE
Tonomura FIRST International Workshop on"Challenges to New Developments in Electron Microscopy"- Workshop Report & Workshop Coordinator's Report
The Tonomura FIRST International Symposium on "Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Physics" scheduled to be held on April 3 - 4, 2011 has been canceled because of the strong Tohoku-Area (Northeast Japan) Pacific Trench Earthquakes and Tsunami, which caused troubles at the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant, resulting in electric power shortage and regional blackout plan in the greater Kanto area.
Tonomura FIRST International Symposium on "Fundamental Aspects of Quantum Physics" will be held at AkibaPlaza on April 3-4, 2011. Invited speakers from abroad include Professors Chen Ning Yang, Gordon Baym, and Roland Wiesendanger.(CANCELLED)


A three-minute movie introducing this project

Expectations for FIRST Tonomura Project by
Dr. C. N. Yang

Expectations for FIRST Tonomura Project by
Dr. A. J. Leggett

Expectations for FIRST Tonomura Project by
Dr. Y. Aharonov

【Project progress】Installation of the Cylindrical Cage with Anti-vibration Mounts

【Project progress】Installation of the High-voltage Cable

  • Principal Investigator
  • Dr. Akira Tonomura

Even though the electron microscope was originally invented in Germany, Japanese researchers have been involved since 1939 in achieving world-class research and development with all their strength, and have applied it in the areas of science, technologies, and industries. The progress of leading-edge technologies in Japan has been supported by advancements in measurement technologies. Recently, triggered by the successful technological innovations for electron lenses in Germany, western countries have increased research and development efforts, and are competing with Japan in research and development. In this project we aim to develop an "electron microscope capable of observing the quantum world at atomic resolution." This will be accomplished by dramatically improving the electron holography technology, which has been nurtured for decades by our former researchers, and now is proudly recognized as one of Japan’s greatest accomplishments in the global scientific community. I want this improved technology to be carried on by the younger generation of researchers.
When it is completed, we want this electron microscope to be used by domestic and international researchers alike to solve problems that arise in the progress of science and technologies in academia and industries.