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Enabling Science and Technology through European Electron Microscopy

Final Report Summary - ESTEEM 2 (Enabling Science and Technology through European Electron Microscopy)

Executive Summary:
The ESTEEM2 integrating initiative in advanced electron microscopy for the physical sciences brings together the leading European Laboratories in this field in a sustainable network. This network represents an EU group with critical mass in the wide range of techniques available for materials characterisation using electrons. Within ESTEEM2 the partners have provided free transnational access to state of the art instrumentation, they have participated in networking activities designed to improve access and strengthen links within the EU academic and industrial sectors, and they have undertaken collaborative research programs aimed at further developing advanced EM techniques.
The core of the ESTEEM2 activities has been the provision of Transnational Access (TA) to state of the art instruments located in the partner laboratories. The instrumentation provided represents differentiated state of the art TEM columns, optimized for specific experiments and advanced sample preparation and data analysis facilities. Through the TA mechanism we have enabled new collaborative science with research groups from a wide range of disciplines who would otherwise not have access to the level of instrumentation provided by ESTEEM2. In four years, ESTEEM2 has offered 3669 access days to international users from across Europe.
The network activities (NA) firstly aimed at disseminating the outputs of ESTEEM2 to both academic and industrial users and the wider media. An important component of this activity has been the organisation of a series of workshops offering training by specialists in advanced techniques. Thirteen schools and workshops were organised within ESTEEM2, attended by 600 participants. The second set of network activities has developed the core tools required to provide a stable pan-European user facility across multiple laboratories. In particular, ESTEEM2 has developed 25 protocols for sample preparation and for specific experimental methods and has provided 15 software to enable users to analyse and interpret their data. These protocols and software are provided in an open-access format on the ESTEEM2 website.
The Joint Research Activities (JRA) concentrated on advancing four established key EM methodologies; diffraction, imaging, spectroscopy, and 3D nanometrology together with projects in the emerging field of time resolved experiments using electrons. Outstanding results were obtained in the following example areas:
• crystallographic studies of a wide range of organic, inorganic and metal/alloy materials
• the development of new imaging methods that more precise information about the sample
• deep understanding of plasmon physics and their interaction with electrons
• precise and quantitative 3D measurements of the structure and properties of nanomaterials at the atomic scale
• the prototype construction of an ultrafast CFEG TEM that will be of great importance for the local study of ultrafast dynamical processes at the nanoscale.
The pioneering work in these activities is likely to see significant impact in many areas of materials science, including new materials for clean energy, functional magnetic materials, multiferroic materials, improved alloys and coatings for aerospace and automotive industry, nano-oxides, fundamental properties of spintronics / ferroelectrics, and nano-crystalline metals. In turn these have direct relevance to key industrial and applied technologies for example, within the European microelectronics industry, in storage media, telecommunications, renewable energy sources, environmental protection, and biomedicine.

Project Context and Objectives:
Please see attached document.
Project Results:
Please see attached document.
Potential Impact:
Please see attached document.
List of Websites:
The ESTEEM2 website is available at:
ESTEEM2 coordinator: Etienne Snoeck –
ESTEEM2 vice-coordinator: Angus Kirkland -
ESTEEM2 project manager: Paul Bersans –