Nowadays, nanomaterials find numerous outstanding applications that, however, require their careful, consistent and reliable characterization at the atomic level. Advanced techniques based on imaging, scattering or diffraction can provide reliably the atomic position and element distribution in a given nanostructure as long as the probing radiation  does not critically alter their genuine structure. Unfortunately, beam-induced object alterations are very relevant for single digit nanocrystals, surfaces and soft matter. Nevertheless many techniques including electron microscopy can be applied using carefully selected beam currents, voltages and type of radiation (light, x-rays, electrons) to probe matter and understand phenomena at the atomic scale that can enable an optimal use of nanomaterials for diverse applications. For example energy storage, conversion and production by conventional methods, as well as sustainable alternative energy technologies require detailed structural and chemical characterization of nanomaterials i.e., with high spatial and energy resolution as well as the involved atomistic mechanisms. In particular, an understanding of the bulk and surface structure, crystal size and morphology, as well as chemical composition is crucial for developing nanomaterials with outstanding and unique properties for energy applications. In this context, the focus of this symposium is to discuss advanced methods of nanoscale characterization by using electrons and other sources (synchrotron and light) that allow us to understand the relationship between synthesis, structure and performance of nanomaterials for advanced applications. Research work related with recent advances in instrumentation, as well as the application of novel techniques and simulation experiments leading to a better understanding of nanomaterial properties are encouraged. Of special interest to this symposium is the case of in-operando microscopy and spectroscopy, where a breakthrough has occurred in recent years with the use of aberration correctors, monochromators, new advanced electron sources, stage design and fabrication, as well as recording media. Thus it seems appropriate to bring together a wide variety of researchers with interests in the science, engineering and technological applications to discuss novel electron microscopy methods/techniques and their use on the characterization and modification of properties of nanomaterials.

Most experimental methods of characterization yield only a partial view of the structure of nanomaterials. Structural information is often required at multiple length scales the atomic, sub-nanometer scale to the multiple-nanometer or even micrometer scale, as for example in the case of local defects (~0.1nm), interfaces (~1  nm), or the size of individual nanoparticles and nanowires (around 2-10 nm).  The goal of the symposium is to discuss how to identify the structure of nanomaterials at various scales and to encourage discussion on the characterization methods for evaluating nanomaterials to enable future applications based on their unique properties at the nanoscale.

Symposium Topics

  • Characterization of nanostructures at a sub-nanometer scale.
  • Aberration-corrected TEM/STEM imaging.
  • STEM Diffraction and Geometrical Phase Analysis.
  • Combined SEM, AFM, STM and (S)TEM experiments.
  • EELS, EDS with Monochromators and Cold FEGs.
  • Developments in instrument design and recording media
  • Novel In-Operando Experiments
  • Advancements in Sample Preparation
  • Ultrafast electron microscopy
  • Ultra-low voltage electron microscopy (TEM and SEM)
  • Relationship between local structure and properties in nanostructured materials.
  • Quantitative characterization of atomic arrangements in nanostructures.
  • Characterization of interfaces in nanostructures.

Invited Speakers

Fu-Rong Chen (Taiwan University),  Quentin Ramasse (Superstem, UK), Rolf Erni (EMPA, Switzerland), Jan Rignalda, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Daniel Ugarte (University of Campinas, Brasil),  Takeo Sasaki (JEOL Company, Japan), Stig Helveg, ( Haldor Topsoe A/S , Denmark, ), Mark Hersam, (Northwestern University),  Anton V. Ievlev, (Oak Ridge National Lab) , Johan Hoefnagels, (Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands), Jianguo Wen, (Argonne National Laboratory), Petra Specht, (UC Berkeley), Yu Jimbo, (JEOL Ltd.), Rafael Villaurrutia, (Thermo Fisher Scientific), Carolina Rendón Barraza, (Institut Fresnel, Aix Marseille Université, CNRS), Nasim Alem, (Penn State University), Jürgen Christen, (University Magdeburg Germany).