Scientists have characterised the application of the Phase Focus Virtual Lens® technology in electron microscopy as “disruptive”, commenting that the ability to generate high contrast without the use of potentially damaging stains “will revolutionise the way that electron microscopy is applied in the life sciences.”

Their comments appear in the June 2013 edition of Pioneer, a quarterly magazine of the Engineering and Physics Research Council that highlights how EPSRC-funded research is helping to tackle global challenges and major issues facing individuals, business and the UK economy.

John Rodenburg, a professor in the University of Sheffield’s department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Phase Focus’s Chief Scientific Officer, was the inventor of the imaging method that underpins the Virtual Lens (“ptychography”). He said, “We’ve shown we can improve upon the resolution limit of an electron lens by a factor of five. No longer does transmission electron microscopy have to be bound by the paradigm of the lens, its Achilles heel since its invention in 1933.”

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