From Northwestern University Center for Atom-Probe Tomography
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Northwestern University Center for Atom-Probe Tomography


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NUCAPT specializes in high-resolution chemical imaging by three-dimensional atom probe tomography (APT). APT produces a three-dimensional (3D) atom-by-atom chemical image with sub-nanometer spatial resolution of a sample volume typically 100 x 100 x 300 nm^3, by simultaneous high resolution imaging and atom-by-atom time of flight mass spectrometry. APT is particularly suited to study nano- or nanostructured materials.

The historic VG FIM100 atom-probe field-ion microscope (APFIM) was on display in Terminal 1 at O'Hare Airport in the concourse opposite gate B12 from May 2016 through October 2017. It was moved to O'Hare Airport to spend part of its retirement days among applications of the high-performance structural and areo-space materials it helped develop.

VG FIM100 at O'Hare 20160525 075621 smaller.jpg

Photo credit: Dr. Nhon Vo

NUCAPT had originally donated the VG FIM100 APFIM to Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry where it anchored the exhibition Materials Science at MSI (press kit). The Chicago Tribune ran an article about the exhibition "Materials Science" at the MSI on March 25, 2015.

more research nuggets


  • A short video describes NUCAPT and the new data management and publication service, developed in collaboration with CHiMAD-MDF.
  • The new NUCAPT data server manager is online now and can be accessed at NUCAPT Data Server
  • Our LEAP tomograph has been upgraded in 2017 to a LEAP5000XS configuration (CAMECA), featuring a single-atom position-sensitive time-of-flight detector with approximately 80% detection efficiency, compared to 50% efficiency with our old LEAP4000 instrument before the upgrade.
  • Congratulations to both Divya Jain and Sumit Bhattacharya, on the successful defense of their thesis. Good luck, Doctors!
  • The Seidman Group welcomes Francesca Long, a first year graduate student in the department.
  • The Seidman Group welcomes visiting student Dong An from Southeast University.


  • Professor David Seidman is receiving the 2020 Distinguished Scientist Award of the Microscopy Society of America. This Award recognizes preeminent senior scientists from both the Biological and Physical disciplines who have a long-standing record of achievement during their career in the field of microscopy or microanalysis. Congratulations, David!
  • Congratulations to Professor David Seidman for receiving the 2019 Peter Duncumb Award for Excellence in Microanalysis from the Microanalysis Society (MAS). The award ceremony was held at the M&M2019 conference in Portland, OR, on Aug. 5th, 2019.
  • Professor David Seidman was awarded the 2019 Gold Medal from ASM International, “for quantitative applications of field-ion microscopy and atom-probe tomography for solving a very broad range of materials problems from different materials classes in conjunction with other characterization tools.” Seidman will officially receive the medal at the MS&T19 conference in Portland, OR. Congratulations!
  • Congratulations to Professor David Seidman for his election to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Seidman is one of 83 new members and 16 new foreign members announced by the NAE on February 7, 2018. Seidman was cited by NAE for “contributions to understanding of materials at the atomic scale, leading to advanced materials and processes.” He will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the NAE’s annual meeting on September 30, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
  • Congratulations on Dr. Dieter Isheim's winning the AIME Champion H. Mathewson Award, 2016. This is a very prestigious award from the TMS, which award is named after Champion H. Mathewson. Chammpion H. Mathewson was a pioneering physical metallurgist in the USA, who had most of his career at Yale University, 43 years. A round of applause for Dr. Dieter Isheim.
  • NUCAPT participates in the recently announced Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) resource, part of a new NSF program for National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure - See more at this press release
  • Professor David Seidman has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2014
  • Professor David Seidman has been given the AIME-TMS(Minerals*Metals*Materials) Honorary Member Award, 2014
  • An article feature APT work from Dieter Isheim and David Seidman was featured in Nature Press Release
  • David Seidman is elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).
  • Professor David Seidman is chosen for the prestigious David Turnbull Lecturer Award, December 3, 2008.
  • Older news

Recent articles from the Seidman group