the er-c
research programmes @ er-c

Beside offering general electron microscopy assistance to the solid state community, ER-C scientists also conduct their own research programmes. Current focal points include scrutinising both the theoretical and the applied aspects of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, which represents the most important analysis methods at the centre. High resolution imaging is supplemented by electron holography and spectroscopy applications and microscopic in situ experiments.

Developed largely by ER-C scientists, numerical sofware packages which allow the retrieval of exit plane wave functions together with the precise control of higher order lens aberrations are used in an increasing number of electron microscopy laboratories world-wide.

By setting up the Philips CM 200Cs at the turn of the millennium, the centre has co-designed the first spherical aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope in the world, characterised by an information limit of 1.2 Å at an acceleration voltage of 200 kV. In 2005, FEI Titan 80-300 TEM and the FEI Titan 80-300 STEM microscopes were commissioned, characterised by a TEM information limit and a STEM resolutions of 80 picometres. In bringing the FEI Titan 50-300 PICO into operation in 2012, microscopic facilties have been expanded by a unique state-of-the-art instrument equipped with correction units for chromatical and spherical correction enabing a resolution of 50 picometres to be achieved in TEM and STEM mode. With the comissioning of the FEI Titan 60-300 HOLO and the FEI Titan 80-200 CREWLEY further unique microscopes optimised for electron holography and in situ experiments as ell as analytical measurments have been put in operation recently.

Current in-house materials science research projects focus on the development of leading-edge transmission electron microscopy techniques plus the study of nanostructured material combinations using advanced software-based methods of transmission electron microscopy. Relevant research projects comprise the investigation of the relationship between the atomic-scale structure and properties of electroceramics and oxide thin films, the investigation of structural, electronic and bonding in semiconducting nanomaterials that are of interest for applications in information technology, the study of nanoscale materials and working devices plus the development of new methodologies based on concepts such as sculpted electron beams, the study of the relationship between the atomic scale microstructure and electrochemical performance of nanoparticle catalysts.

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