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Roberto dos ReisRoberto dos Reis, Scientific Officer

Roberto dos Reis joins NUANCE as the Scientific Officer for VPD Group and as a research faculty member. As the group’s Scientific Officer, Roberto’s role is to facilitate students’ research, introducing them to new microscopy techniques and offering feedback.

What technical expertise do you offer?

“My expertise is in transmission electron microscopy in general; a variety of TEM-based techniques such as high-res TEM and STEM (scanning transmission electron microscopy), and diffraction techniques.”


How do you facilitate research collaboration?

“By exposing the user to different methods to solve their research problems, introducing new techniques, and showing examples from different research groups to try to match to what they’re looking for.” 

What inspired your interest to work in this field?

“I think being able to solve problems at atomic resolution is one thing that fascinates me. I also like to see physics in action. Sometimes you’re just calculating and in a classroom and doing a lot of math, but you don’t see that working. But with a microscope, it’s a very good example of physics working. … Electron microscopes were built based on the field of quantum mechanics, so that’s why it works.”

What’s the most interesting project or achievement that you’ve been involved in at NUANCE?

“Probably working with the new technology of electron detectors. You can actually detect a single event per pixel, so then you can actually count how many electrons arrive at the surface of your detector. That technology helped enable the work that earned a Nobel Prize in cryo-TEM. We’re getting this technology in a few months, and I’ll be help people learn how to use it.”

What are the everyday practical applications of your research/work?

There are many. A cell phone can work because we’re able to image the basic structure of the components in a way that we can use that to make them better or faster. If you go to BioCryo, you can solve the structure of proteins. You can help to discover materials for new forms of energy. Solve the structure of materials in general, which helps people in industry to make them better. There are so many.”

What excites you most about the future of nanotechnology?

Still thinking about nano? We’re thinking about pico already (10-12)!”