The research centre "EMAT" of the University of Antwerp is coordinating this ESTEEM project.
EMAT (Electron Microscopy for Materials Science) belongs to the department of physics of the University of Antwerp and is the core group of the NANO excellence centre. Its primary goal is the study of (inorganic) materials by different electron microscopy techniques.. Since 1965, EMAT has built up a wide range of activities concerned with fundamental solid state physics, materials science, solid state chemistry and materials characterisation.
The interest in new materials in general and nano-materials in particular is continuously growing. This interest not only comes from the academic side, but is often technology or industry related. With decreasing dimensions down to the nanometer and sub-nanometer scale, electron microscopy is a unique technique, being able to relate structural properties to physical or chemical properties. Increased understanding of the basic phenomena involved in the "electron beam - material" interaction and improved computer power allow to better determine the local structure, the local composition and even the local electronic structure. This is applied to a wide field of materials such as semiconductors, superconductors, alloys, polymers catalysts and small particles, surface layers, multilayers and composite materials.
Advanced electron microscopy not only involves resolution at the Ângstrom level: it also includes advanced diffraction techniques for determining the local structure and analysis of the inelastic scattered electrons to obtain compositional and electronic information. The strength of EMAT is that both theoretical and experimental know how is available for these different techniques.