Charles W. Oatley

  • From:

    Cambridge University

  • Year:

    1989

  • Subject:

    Physics

  • Award:

    Potts

  • Citation:

    For the development of the scanning electron microscope.

Sir Charles Oatley was responsible for the development of the scanning electron microscope (SEM). The principles of the scanning electron microscope had already been established in Germany in the 1930s, but there was a widely held belief that this technique had little scientific merit and no commercial future. But the determination of Charles Oatley proved them wrong, as he developed the first scanning electron microscope at Cambridge by 1951. Eventually the power and utility of this device became well publicized, and there are over 100,000 scanning electron microscopes in use today.

Information as of 1989