Engineering of Advanced Materials

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Cluster of Excellence

Engineering of Advanced Materials

A2 Nanoanalysis and Microscopy

TEM image of twin boundaries in a silver nanoparticle

Advanced methods for the analysis of materials and devices down to the atomic scale

Particles, structures, and new materials are characterized on all length scales

Microscopic and analytical characterization methods on all length scales are of utmost importance for the design of new engineering materials in the Cluster of Excellence. The Research Area A2 supports the design of materials by in-situ investigation of local properties on length scales ranging from the atomic to the meso-scale. Materials, particles, and systems are studied down to the molecular and atomic level including 3D characterization. The activities of Research Area A2 focus on three complementary fields, which closely work together:

  • Transmission electron microscopy: Atomic-scale analysis of materials, particles and interfaces by aberration-corrected HRTEM using the newly installed Titan3 80-300 microscope; local chemical analysis based on high-resolution analytical techniques including EDS, EELS and EFTEM; 3D characterization of nanostructures and nanocomposites by electron tomography; investigation of local properties of materials by in-situ mechanical and electrical testing in the transmission electron microscope
  • Diffraction and spectroscopy: X-ray and neutron-diffraction methods (WAXS, SAXS, GIXS), including synchrotron light to study the microstructure and properties of surfaces and catalysts and the hierarchical architecture and internal stresses of complex multiphase materials; small-angle X-ray scattering as ideal tool for studying structures and particles in the size range typically between 1 and 100 nanometers
  • Surface analysis, scanning probe techniques (including scanning electron/ion beam techniques) and surface characterization: structural and analytical analysis of surfaces; property measurements on nanoscale level to optimize the materials and structures; three-dimensional characterization of microstructures and cross-sections of coatings and particles.

Center for Nanoanalysis and Electron Microscopy (CENEM)

The analytical capabilities in Erlangen have been strengthened by the Center for Nanoanalysis and Electron Microscopy (CENEM), which was founded by the members of Research Area A2. It will help intensify the interdisciplinary research and develop structures for long term use of the instrumentation required for nanocharacterization of materials and strengthen interaction with industry.

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Additional information


A2 Nanoanalysis and Microscopy
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Erdmann Spiecker
Institute of Micro- and Nanostructure Research