Scientific programme

The conference topics are:

MS 1: Energy-related materials and catalysts
Chairs: Kerstin Volz (Marburg/DE), Marc Georg Willinger (Zurich/CH)
The session is focused on generating insights into the function of materials for energy storage, energy conversion and catalysis. Topics can be – but are not restricted to - charge transport, dynamics at interfaces (electrolyte/electrode or gas-phase/catalyst surface), cycling behavior and aging/deactivation. We are very interested in contributions that attempt to capture the relevant functional state of energy materials and catalysts, i.e., studies that reach beyond imaging of isolated systems in vacuum or investigations that employ an embedded multi-scale (in space and time) approach that allows to link between atomistic and collective dynamics. We also call for contributions regarding efficient detection of various generated signals, correlative application of analytical methods, as well as utilizing and developing quantitative data-analysis and machine learning. Studies on the impact of the electron beam for (in situ) investigation of materials for energy-related or catalysis applications are also highly welcome.

MS 2: Metals and alloys
Chairs: Gerhard Dehm (Duesseldorf/DE), Christian Kuebel (Karlsruhe/DE)
This symposium will present recent progress in the field of metals, alloys, and intermetallic compounds.The material portfolio includes high entropy alloys, chemically complex alloys and metallic glasses and aims at bringing together specialists from materials design, microstructure evolution and material properties. Contributed papers are very much welcome.

MS 3: Low-dimensional and quantum materials
Chairs: Ute Kaiser (Ulm/DE), Rafal Edward Dunin-Borkowski (Juelich/DE)
This session focuses on the development and application of advanced imaging, diffraction and spectroscopy to provide new insight into the structural, compositional and functional properties of low-dimensional and quantum materials. A specific focus will be placed on methods for imaging individual defects, enhancing the contrast of light atoms, preparing and cleaning ultra-thin samples, developing automated workflows for low dose imaging of beam sensitive materials and linking electron microscopy with complementary characterisation techniques. Other topics of interest include in situ experiments carried out at cryogenic or elevated temperature, as well as in the presence of external stimuli such as applied voltage, field, gases or light.

MS 4: Functional thin films
Chairs: Marc Heggen (Juelich/DE), Peter A. van Aken (Stuttgart/DE)
This session focusses on functional thin films and advanced structured materials targeted for applications in a wide range of energy and information technologies, including intriguing physical effects at interfaces of epitaxial complex oxide systems, electron and ion conductors, photovoltaics, thermo-electrics, dielectrics, and resistive switching. The optimization of these devices, from materials’ design to applications, requires a thorough knowledge of the structural, physical, and chemical properties, its interactions with the environment and the role of interfacial effects, for which recent technical innovations in electron microscopy hardware and software have provided a fertile ground for their analysis with unprecedented spatial and spectral resolution. We welcome contributions to latest developments at the forefront of scientific achievements and impact in the design, synthesis, characterization, and applications of functional thin films.

MS 5: Functional organic materials
Chairs: Ute Heinemeyer (Ludwigshafen/DE), Benjamin Butz (Siegen/DE)
The revival of polymers, organic molecular/carbon-rich materials and composites thereof is not only due to the development of high-efficiency (semi)conductors and their enhanced environmental stability. Basic reactants appear unlimited prospectively yielding sustainable products at globally needed amounts. Those materials already contribute to the global energy revolution and facilitate a vast variety of applications such as energy conversion/storage, (flexible) printed electronics, catalysis, rapid prototyping, lightweight construction as well as drug delivery. The serious issue of microplastics in the environment needs to be addressed, e.g., by means of biodegradable material design. This session will cover novel micro- and nanocharacterization techniques (like 4D-STEM, UHR-EELS, cryo-EM, X-ray micro-spectroscopy, fluorescence OM) and modern sample preparation (like plasma-FIB cross-sectioning, (cryo-)ultramicrotomy, plunge freezing) to investigate individual materials (molecules, thin films, particles, fibers), composites and complex devices for understanding structure formation, function, and degradation. It includes modern in situ methodology stressing strategies to minimize electron-beam induced alterations.

MS 6: Geoscience and construction materials, cultural heritage
Chair: Katharina Marquardt (London/GB), Frank E. Brenker (Frankfurt am Main/DE)
In this session, we invite contributions across a variety of disciplines, from all areas of geosciences, such as environmental pollution redemption to ore deposits and deep earth, planetary or extraterrestrial samples over construction materials such as cement and concrete to the study of objects of cultural heritage. We hope to connect these very diverse but highly innovative and exiting research areas by focusing the discussions on our common interest on processes on the nm-scale, particularly where interfaces are involved, from mineralization, crystallization to nucleation, growth, diffusion, deformation and phase transformations.

MS 7: Ceramics and composites
Chairs: Thomas Hoeche (Halle/DE), Hans-Joachim Kleebe (Darmstadt/DE)
This session provides a forum to present and discuss recent research and development activities on amorphous as well as crystalline matter. The session will cover the wide field of microstructure-based development of materials, covering aspects of basic materials research and detailed material characterization, in particular, via electron microscopy and correlated techniques.
World experts are encouraged to present their recent research activities on ceramics and composites, aiming to stimulate interesting interdisciplinary discussions and lasting collaborations.
The anticipated topics include novel glass-based materials and glass-ceramics for various applications, nanomaterials utilized in photovoltaics, electroceramics, or multiferroics as well as ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) for the use in extreme environments.
Advances in understanding structure-property-processing correlations as well as performance of such materials, giving the possibility to tailor and control material properties via microstructural modification, are the main focus of this session.

LS 1: High-resolution cryo-EM
Chairs: Petra Wendler (Potsdam-Golm/DE), Arne Moeller (Osnabrueck/DE)
In 2020, cryo-EM cleared another barrier and was shown to be able to visualise individual atoms in a macromolecular complex. Significant improvements in software and microscope design were essential for this achievement. However, what is possible for ideal samples or test specimen may not necessarily be true for research-based biological applications, highlighting the prerequisite of sample quality and optimisation which continues to be the major challenge en route to atomic-resolution cryo-EM structures. The session will show how to improve the sample handling, microscope setup and image processing to obtain high-resolution structures using cryo-EM.

LS 2: Cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-electron tomography
Chairs: Svetlana Dodonova (Heidelberg/DE), Christos Gatsogiannis (Muenster/DE)
Cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) and cryo-electron tomography (cryoET) provide us a high-resolution gateway to the molecular processes that underlie life. These techniques allow us to view biological molecules in their native state and at high resolution, to image and determine their dynamics and, moreover, their socio-molecular interactions. Still, improvements and developments in sample preparation, workflows that integrate different tools and co-localization strategies, along with new image processing approaches are needed to exploit the full potential of these methods. This session will discuss the latest technological advances and present tangible examples that demonstrate the strength of both cryoEM and cryoET.

LS 3: Imaging of large volumes and plastic section tomography
Chairs: Wiebke Moebius (Goettingen/DE), Anna Steyer (Heidelberg/DE)
Throughout the last two decades, different volume scanning electron microscopy (vEM) methods have gained more importance in the life sciences, allowing new questions to be answered for samples from cells to organisms and tissues. New developments for hardware and software for transmission as well as scanning electron microscopy have paved the road to new exciting research topics to be addressed. This session will illustrate the diversity of methods and applications of the current volume SEM modalities, namely array tomography (AT), serial block face SEM (SBEM) and focused ion beam SEM (FIB-SEM), as well as plastic tomography focusing on higher resolution. Besides different research topics, the challenges linked to the sample preparation, imaging and data analysis will be covered. 

LS 4: Image analysis of large data sets
Chairs: Stefan Raunser (Dortmund/DE), Carsten Sachse (Juelich/DE)
Image analysis is an integral part of the single-particle as well as the tomography cryo-EM workflows. In single-particle cryo-EM, automated image acquisition procedures generate large data sets that enable the ensemble structure determination of increasing number of conformations at higher resolution. This procedure also requires algorithms that can detect the variability in large data sets and distinguish different conformations from each other. Similarly, using subtomogram averaging the analysis of structural variability is driven by improved classification techniques of larger data sets. Due to the processing of volumes instead of projections, this method is more computationally intensive than single particle analysis and therefore requires new software solutions. Moreover, image processing of large numbers of cellular cryotomograms by new segmentation and template matching methods will enable a quantitative image analysis of the cellular environment.

LS 5: Correlative and multimodal microscopy
Chairs: Thomas Mueller-Reichert (Dresden/DE), Christian Stigloher (Wuerzburg/DE)
Correlative microscopy aims at a combination of different imaging modalities to analyze a single specimen by more than one microscopic technique. Recent developments in microscopy as well as in computational approaches make it more and more feasible to combine different imaging modalities in a correlative and multimodal way. Therefore, this session will focus not only on the ‘classic combination’ of light and electron microscopy but will cover also other approaches that include X-ray, Raman- or atomic force microscopy (AFM). It is also aimed to report on new computational approaches, such as machine learning to analyze the obtained CLEM data.

LS 6: Pathology, pathogens and diagnostics
Chairs: Jacomina Krijnse Locker (Langen/DE), Michael Laue (Berlin/DE)
Microscopy helps to diagnose and to understand diseases. The session will cover all applications of electron microscopy in this field, from high-resolution work by cryo-electron microscopy to routine diagnostic electron microscopy using thin section or negative staining electron microscopy.

LS 7: Advances in sample preparation
Chairs: Katharina Hipp (Tuebingen/DE), Benoît Zuber (Bern/CH)
Sample preparation is a crucial and critical step for all following analyses by electron microscopy. Although a whole variety of sample preparation protocols is available, the development and improvement of electron microscopy techniques necessitates adjustment of existing protocols and design ideas. This session will focus on advances in sample preparation for the different life sciences electron microscopy applications.

IM 1: Progress in instrumentation and ultrafast EM
Chairs: Maximilian Haider (Heidelberg/DE), Claus Ropers (Goettingen/DE)
This session will cover recent advancements of instrumentation for imaging and analytical purposes of transmission electron microscopy (TEM and STEM). Part of this session will focus on time-resolved electron microscopy and its various aspects to study optical excitations and nonequilibrium phenomena in materials. Contributions are welcome to describe the state of the art of instrumentation for high resolution imaging as well as all variants of analytical techniques.

IM 2: Spectroscopy
Chairs: Gerald Kothleitner (Graz/AT), Wilfried Sigle (Stuttgart/DE)
Aberration correctors, electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) are nowadays indispensable tools for obtaining atomic-scale information of chemical composition and bonding in materials. Not only can material phases be identified, but important effects such as interdiffusion between phases, or charge ordering, to name but a few, can be studied. In the past decade, in EELS low energy losses were intensively used to identify surface plasmons in nanomaterials, even in a tomographic approach. This was made possible by the implementation of electron monochromators into the electron gun. Recent technological advances have opened the energy-loss window into the sub-10 meV regime where a range of new phenomena can now be studied. These include phonons, low-energy plasmons, and possibly many more low-energy excitations in materials. The wealth of information generates new grand challenges in understanding and modelling the underlying fundamentals of signal generation and intelligent processing of large data sets. Contributions are invited on hardware and technique developments, theory and simulation, data processing as well as applications covering both physical and biological sciences.

IM 3: SEM and FIB developments
Chairs: Irina Harder (Wuerzburg/DE), Andreas Graff (Halle/DE)
This session deals with new developments in SEM and FIB technology and methods. Especially new detector principals and designs for electrons, ions and photons locally emitted after interaction with different types of ion or electron beams. Techniques using the angular distribution of the scattered ions and electrons like EBSD and ECCI will be covered by the contributions. New strategies in beam control and data analysis will also be discussed.

IM 4: Development of cryo-EM instrumentation and techniques
Chairs: Nadja Tarakina (Potsdam/DE), Gregor Weiss (Zurich/CH)
Technological advances continue to push the boundaries of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). In recent years, novel developments in cryo-EM instrumentation as well as newly established workflows have enabled groundbreaking insights in both life and materials sciences.

In this session, we will discuss new developments in experimental cryogenic techniques, cryosample preparation as well as instrumental capabilities applied across different fields.

Contributions are welcome from, but not restricted to, the following areas: SEM, FIB, TEM, STEM and CLEM at cryogenic temperatures, including hardware improvements, cryo stages, cryogenic sample preparation techniques used for EM, measurements of local temperature, as well as image processing for cryo-EM.

IM 5: Quantitative image and diffraction data analysis
Chairs: Ute Kolb (Mainz/DE), Christoph T. Koch (Berlin/DE)
Modern (direct electron) detectors and advanced data recording schemes have pushed the level to which images and diffraction patterns can be quantified, thus bringing experimental data closer to the realm of simulations and theory. At the same time, simulation methods are capable of handling larger atomic structures and include more experimental parameters; and also data reconstruction algorithms have advanced in speed, accuracy and flexibility, thus bringing theory closer to experimental reality. This session welcomes contributions that present the state-of-the-art in extracting quantitative insight/knowledge from image and diffraction data, but also advances in simulation tools.

IM 6: Phase related techniques & 4D STEM
Chairs: Michael Lehmann (Berlin/DE), Andreas Rosenauer (Bremen/DE)
This session focusses on methods associated with different aspects of phase in electron microscopy. A first topic concerns mapping of the Coulomb potential, electric or magnetic fields, for instance using methods that retrieve the phase of the electron wave such as electron holography or focus variation reconstruction. The session also covers differential phase contrast (DPC) microscopy, which is based on the acquisition of a Ronchigram per scan position (4D-STEM) with a segmented, pixelated or other dedicated detector, using the first moment of the intensity distribution or a ptychographic reconstruction of the object phase. Another topic is related to the shaping of the phase of the electron wave using different kinds of phase plates, vortex beams, and beam shaping in general. Contributions may also tackle related theoretical topics, image simulation, influence of inelastic contributions and similar aspects.

IM 7: In situ/operando electron microscopy
Chairs: Leopoldo Molina-Luna (Darmstadt/DE), Erdmann Spiecker (Erlangen/DE)
Nowadays, in situ/operando electron microscopy is a rapidly growing field due to the implementation of nanotechnology towards the fabrication of greatly improved, stable and more flexible sample holders. Furthermore, data collection, analysis and recording of dynamic information is becoming increasingly faster. Recent advances include, for example, the use of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) based chips for in situ transmission electron microscopy. The capability to perform multiple measurements while simultaneously analysing corresponding structural, chemical, or even electronic structure changes in functional and nano- materials at different length scales are opening exciting new opportunities at the forefront of modern materials science research. This symposium intends to review progress on in situ/operando TEM and SEM experiments that apply heating, cooling, electrical biasing, and mechanical testing to induce and probe phase transformations.

WS 1: Data management
Chairs: Christoph T. Koch, Berlin/DE), Markus Wollgarten (Berlin/DE)
Modern microscopes are capable of quickly producing terabytes ofmultidimensional and multimodal data in form of (correlated) images, spectra and diffraction patterns. While managing and (online) processing such large amounts of data may require some investment in computer hardware and software, the even greater challenge lies in the effective utilization of such data, often in an international team. Ultimately, the paradigm of FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and re-purposable) data aims at data re-utilization by others, potentially with completely different research questions in mind. 

This session welcomes contributions describing solutions that enable handling and processing of big data in microscopy, but also solutions that make microscopy data FAIR. An important aspect here is the (automated) annotation of the experimental data by relevant metadata that is both human and machine readable. In addition, this session shall provide room for the demonstration of examples where FAIR research data management helps to lower the threshold for sharing data with collaborators and the scientific community and as such enablingsynergistic combining of data from various sources or techniques.

WS 2:Tricks and pitfalls for FIB sample preparation in materials and life sciences
Chairs: Simone Mattei (Heidelberg/DE), Frank Altmann (Halle/DE)
Focused ion beam (FIB) technique combined with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) enabling nm-precise sample preparation for a broad range of applications in semiconductor industry, material- and life science. One major application is the preparation of cross sectional and planar samples for electron microscopy analysis. Recent developments of inducted plasma ion sources and combined laser ablation provide increased throughput over conventional Ga-FIB for large area milling. In life sciences, the use of combined  FIB / SEM systems opened new applications for researchers to analyse cellular and multi-cellular systems by slice and view volume imaging and to produce thin cellular lamellae suitable for high-resolution in situ transmission electron tomography. The further development of correlative light and electron microscopy approaches are now opening new avenues for the precise targeting and imaging of unperturbed native environments. This session welcomes contributions from recent advances in sample preparation and the development and implementation of new hardware and software solutions for FIB milling approaches in material and life sciences, including automated lamella preparation, volume imaging, correlative workflows, and lift out approaches both at room and cryogenic temperature. 

 WS 3: DGE young microscopists symposium
Chairs: Milena Hugenschmidt (Karlsruhe/DE), Johannes Mueller (Berlin/DE)
This symposium is hosted by the DGE Young Microscopists working group (yDGE) and will cover topics especially interesting for young researchers. For this, we invited experts who will give insights on publication writing and career planning.
In addition, we want to offer students the opportunity to give a short talk on their work in front of their young colleagues, to gain presentation experience in a casual atmosphere and enhance the scientific exchange.
The newly founded working group DGE Young Microscopists will briefly introduce their activities and possibilities to join.
Our goal is a lively, relaxed exchange between students and early-career postdocs to connect to like-minded colleagues. For this, the symposium will be followed by a social event nearby the conference's venue.