The increasing importance of nanoscale and interface controlled materials has led to challenging demands for advanced near-atomic scale structural, chemical and electronic characterisation. Transmission electron microscopy, combining high-resolution imaging and probe analytical techniques, is one of the most powerful means of diagnosis in this field. Recent and on-going advances in instrumentation, data acquisition, processing and interpretation have opened up enormous new potential for application of this technique, timely enough to support the progress in nanotechnology, advanced materials production, nanoscale physics and process control in the fabrication of new semiconductor devices or information storage media. However multipurpose TEMs confront the potential users with numerous operation modes and subsequently with an overwhelming record of data.
This situation leads to an increasing demand on the training of individual scientists and young researchers and the necessity to develop well-accepted, reliable routines for data processing, storage and interpretation. On the other hand, recent years have seen the development of highly specialized microscopes and the emergence of new instrumental projects in a smaller number of laboratories. These laboratories including the three laboratories in Orsay, Cambridge and Stuttgart proposing the present Euro Summer School and others, hosting innovative equipment as well as expertise, could be considered as European Centers of Excellence for testing new routes towards ultimate analysis. The proposed Euro Summer School aims at supporting this trend by offering a forum for European training, networking and development of a shared-knowledge basis. It is our intent to extend this initiative in the following years by proposing Euro Lab Courses circulating on the different experimental sites as the next step towards a Research Training Network.