Dr. Kazu Suenega is a team leader at the National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). He has published over 90 scientific papers and delivered more than 50 invited lectures over the past ten years. His papers have more than 3,000 citations. He has received several awards: the Honda Memorial Promotional prize (1997) and the Seto award (Japanese society of Microscopy 2005), and the Sir Martin Wood Prize in 2006. At AIST, Dr. Suenega’s major research theme involves the atomic level characterization of individual molecules by means of electron microscopy and spectroscopy. His team used the JEOL JEM-2100F TEM with a Schottky-type field-emission gun equipped with aberration corrector to obtain the spectacular image of the metallofullerene peapod shown in this image from the paper “Visualizing and identifying single atoms using electron energy-loss spectroscopy with low accelerating voltage” published in Nature Chemistry in August 2009.
In recent groundbreaking work, Kazu Suenaga and Masanori Koshino have imaged and characterized the electronic properties of single atoms at the edge of graphene using a probe just 0.1nm in diameter to pinpoint single atoms. Operating at a low voltage of 60kV – below the threshold of thermal or knock on damage - produced high spatial resolution while leaving samples in tact. This is the first time specific spectral peaks have been obtained from specific atoms. Their findings on how these atoms bond with one another are published in Nature.