University of Antwerp (UA) BELGIUM


The electron microscopy group (EMAT) of the University of Antwerp is the core group of the NANO Centre of Excellence. EMAT has 9 academic staff members, about 12 postdocs and 25 Ph.D students.

The interest of EMAT includes advanced electron diffraction to refine crystal structures, ultra high resolution at the sub-Angstrom level, electron tomography to reconstruct 3D morphologies at the nano scale, energy filtered TEM for composition mapping, electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) for electronic (bonding) analysis. EMAT also has the necessary theoretical support for EM simulations and interpretation as well as for DFT calculations. The materials investigated cover a wide range, including alloys, ceramics, composites, but also nanoparticles, carbon based materials, porous materials, soft matter-hard matter interaction and polymers. However a big focus is on nanostructured ceramic based materials.

The microscopy park of EMAT consists of 1 SEM, 1 dual beam FIB and 6 TEM instruments. The most advanced TEM is unique in Europe and is a double lens corrected instrument, able to work at voltages between 60 and 300 kV and achieving a resolution of 50 pm (for an ideal sample!).Even at the lower voltages, the resolution is still below 100 pm. The instrument is also equiped with a monochromator to lower the energy resolution in EELS to about 150 meV.

The head of the group is Gustaaf Van Tendeloo; he is the author of several hundred ISI contributions, including 10 Nature or Science type contributions. He has accumulated over 14 000 citations and has a h-index of 55.

Previous relevant experience related to the project’s aims:

EMAT is a leading European centre of electron microscopy; it is the coordinator of ESTEEM, an IP3 project of the 6th framework that groups the major European microscopy centres.

EMAT has a long history on structural characterisation of new superconducting materials or superconducting tapes. It has over 100 publications on “superconducting materials”, collaborating with the major superconductivity centres in Europe.

Profile of staff members involved in the project:

  • Prof. Gustaaf Van Tendeloo, director of the EMAT group and head of the NANO centre of excellence.
  • Prof. Joke Hadermann specialized in electron crystallography.
  • Prof. Artem Abakumov, solid state chemist specialised in diffraction techniques and responsible for industrial applications and collaboration with high tech companies.
  • Prof. Sara Bals, solid state physicist, specialized in electron tomography and 3D reconstructions.


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