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Electron beams enhancing analytical microscopy

Project description

A synergy of electrons and photons expands the possibilities of electron microscopy

Electron microscopes use a beam of electrons rather than photons, harnessing their very short wavelengths to resolve features more than a million times smaller than possible with super-resolution light microscopes. They have given us an unprecedented view of materials and their behaviours, capturing dynamic changes with extremely high spatial and temporal resolution. The EU-funded EBEAM project is determined to significantly surpass current capabilities by harnessing the unique interactions between free electrons and optical light fields, pushing resolution limits and opening up areas of study not accessible with current technology.


Electron microscopy (EM) is a key technology to reveal the atomic structure and chemical composition of materials with (sub-)Ångström resolution. It is an essential technique to enable the breakthroughs that are needed to solve societal challenges in renewable energy technology, life sciences, and communication and quantum technology. To realize these breakthroughs, we require EM technology with ultrafast time scale, ultrahigh energy resolution, covering low-energy spectral ranges and several other capabilities, all of which are beyond the present state of the art. The EBEAM project brings together a proven consortium of EM experts that will integrate their complementary EM science and technology into completely new EM measurement modalities, exploiting the unique interactions between free electrons and optical light fields, and thereby combining ultrahigh spectral and temporal control with sub-Ångström spatial resolution. The project’s ambition is to demonstrate <20 fs time resolution and <1 meV energy resolution, and to open up the 4-400 neV (1-100 MHz) energy range, all inaccessible in EM so far. Using new correlation and coincidence modalities that have never been used in EM before, we will unveil new methods to probe selection rules, low-energy band structures, trace elements, and more. We will demonstrate the broad applicability of the new EBEAM techniques by carrying out selected research projects that target key questions in energy conversion materials, opto-electronic materials and quantum technology. The consortium is composed of 8 EM groups in basic research and industry that represent a unique combination of EM instruments, knowledge and ideas that are well positioned to target the ambitious goals of the EBEAM project. It includes the world-leader in EM manufacturing and a successful SME. Together, the consortium will bring the EBEAM technology to a broad user community where it is expected to have strong scientific and economic impact.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 290 112,50
3526 KV Utrecht

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West-Nederland Utrecht Utrecht
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 290 112,50

Participants (7)