Physics of Nanoscale Systems (ER-C-1) / Microstructure Research (PGI-5)

Development of new procedures for understanding material properties on the atomic level with a special focus on ultrahigh resolution electron microscopy techniques. In the near future, the life sciences will be added as the first new field of application. Furthermore, we enable researchers from science and industry to use our instruments and methods, supported by our experts, and aim to establish a national user facility for the scientific community.

Head: Prof. Rafal Dunin-Borkowski

Aberration Correction

Aberration Correction

The first spherical-aberration(Cs) corrected TEM was co-developed and operated at the ER-C. Today this technique defines state-of-the-art electron microscopy and has been commercialized in more than 1000 instruments worldwide. 


Nanomaterials for Green Energy

The properties of new materials for energy conversion and storage are very often linked to their atomic-scale structure. One example are novel fuel cell catalysts. High-resolution analytical in-situ electron microscopy helps us to understand such materials under realistic working conditions.

Electroceramics and nanoelectronic oxides

Electroceramics and nanoelectronic oxides

By employing the negative Cs imaging technique (NCSI) on our PICO electron microscope light elements like oxygen are resolved with high contrast in the heavy element environment. Like this, the improvement of spatial resolution resulted from the Cs/Cc correction can directly be demonstrated by the visibility of 57 pm separation of Y-Y atom columns projected along the [010] axis of a Ce doped YAP single crystal.


Magnetism on the 

Magnetic materials are essential for data recording and storage, energy conversion and biomedical technologies. We apply and develop high-resolution quantitative methods to measure the magnetic properties of nanostructures and magnetic phenomena (e.g. domain walls, skyrmions) using various electron microscopy methods.   

News and Events


Skyrmion Research: Braids of Nanovortices Discovered

A team of scientists from Germany, Sweden and China has discovered a new physical phenomenon: complex braided structures made of tiny magnetic vortices known as skyrmions. Skyrmions could provide a possible basis for innovative concepts in information processing that offer better performance and lower energy consumption.


PGI Colloquium - Extraordinary Talk: Prof. Dr. Stephan Appelt,
Forschungszentrum Jülich (ZEA-2) and RWTH Aachen (ITMC), Germany

In this colloquium, the discussion will centre on the physics of the parahydrogen pumped RASER (Radio-frequency Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) [1], which is an ideal quantum sensor for exploring self-organized phenomena between spins and photons. RASER activity can be observed if the low-frequency photons of a high Q resonator [2] interact with a negatively polarized nuclear spin ensemble.



Ernst Ruska-Centre The Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons is a combined development and user facility.


moreSTEM - Momentum-resolved Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy

In this imaging mode, diffraction patterns are recorded at each raster position of a scanning electron beam in an electron microscope.



ESTEEM3 – Enabling Science and Technology through European Electron Microscopy – is an EU funded project for electron microscopy, which aims at providing access to leading European state-of-the-art electron microscopy research infrastructures.



This European Research Council Synergy project aims at studying three-dimensional magnetic solitons with high temporal and spatial resolution, bringing together experts on magnetic imaging, magnetic manipulation, theory and device applications.