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The first electron microscopes enabled scientists to finally view the nanoworld. But because of limitations in the microscope’s lenses, achieving sharp images of individual atoms was not possible. For 60 years scientists struggled with the scopes’ limited abilities.
But now, because of the groundbreaking work of Harald Rose, Ondrej Krivanek, Maximilian Haider, and Knut Urban, the winners of the 2020 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience, scientists today can clearly view and study individual atoms through electron microscopes built with aberration correcting lenses, making sub-ångström imaging and chemical analysis in three dimensions a standard characterization method.