Marek Malac

Senior Research Officer, National Institute for Nanotechnology

Adjunct Professor, Department of Physics, University of Alberta

Dr. Malac’s electron microscopy research is focused on pushing the boundaries of understanding of physical principles underlying electron microscopy, developing instrumentation and methods for data interpretation. His work is motivated by the need to quantitatively analyze practical, radiation-sensitive, materials at and to visualize and quantify scientific problems at nanoscale. Dr. Malac’s work extends, often in collaboration with Hitachi High Technologies and JEOL USA, Ltd., many aspects such as instrument optimization and implementation of new data collection methods, development of phase shifting devices, various in-situexperiments, and custom sample holders. He led the effort to acquire and set up NINT’s state-of-the-art electron microscopes. He also leads several electron microscopy development projects of the Hitachi Electron Microscopy Development Centre (HEMIC) at NINT including phase plate development collaboration with JEOL USA and the scientific aspect of the development of new quiet laboratory at NINT.

His research interests are focused on improving phase-retrieval methods in a transmission electron microscope (TEM), developing experimental methods for measurement of optical and dispersion relations at nanoscale using electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) for quantitative measurements, and extending the practical interpretation of ELNES beyond fingerprinting to unscrambling information from ELNES. Core-loss EELS provides information about chemical composition and bonding at nearly atomic length scale, but interpretation of the spectral data is difficult.

Other research goals include maximizing the amount of interpretable information per unit irradiation damage of the sample by developing new methods and instrumentation, and reducing the effect of uncertainties of data acquisition steps and resolution limiting methods in electron tomography to retrieve the 3-D morphology at nanoscale by using new methods.

He is working to understanding the physical limits of Focused Ion Beam (FIB) fabrication and characterization to develop new and optimize existing methods for nanoscale prototyping and analysis, and develop instrumentation for enabling practical application of an improved understanding of limits of electron microscopy and FIB.

Employment

  • Senior Research Officer, NINT, Edmonton, Alberta, 2011-Present.
  • Associate Research Officer, NINT, Edmonton, Alberta. 2007-2011.
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 2003-Present.
  • Assistant Research Officer, NINT, Edmonton, Alberta. 2003-2007.
  • Research Associate, Centre for Nanoscale Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. 2002-2003.
  • Adjunct Scientist, Material Science Dept., Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York, U.S. 2002-2003.
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Electron Microscopy Group, Materials Sciences Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York, U.S. 2001-2002.
  • Research Associate, Nanoscience Centre, Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. 2000.

Education

  • PhD, Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta. 2000.
  • Mgr, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. 1993.

Highlights

  • Awarded National Research Council Outstanding Achievement award in 2009.
  • Co-organized various scientific symposia including an Electron Energy Loss Symposium entitled “EELS in 21st Century” at the Microscopy and Microanalysis (M&M) in August 2006, “Phase imaging in TEM” symposium at M&M in 2010 and an “atomistic and electronic structure of nanomaterials” symposium at the International Crystallography Union meeting in 2011.
  • Meeting Chair (Physical Sciences) for the Annual Meeting of Microscopical Society of Canada, Edmonton, June 2007.
  • Guest editor for special issue of Micron entitled Microscopy of Nanomaterials (2006).

Contact Information

11421 Saskatchewan Drive
NINT Building, Room 3-104
Edmonton, AB T6G 2M9

Phone: 780-641-1662
Fax: 780-641-1601
Email: mmalac@ualberta.ca