The International School of Crystallography in Erice (Director: Sir Tom Blundell) hosted its 51st course entitled Electron Crystallography in June. This course was co-directed by Andy Stewart, Bernal Institute, Joke Hadermann, University of Antwerp and Lukas Palatinus, Institute of Physics, Czech Academy of Sciences.
In the era of nanoscience, the size of particles to be investigated gets smaller and smaller, and traditional techniques used to characterise materials are being stretched beyond their limit. Electron Crystallography (EC) is a powerful tool to study crystal structure and properties of nano-sized materials and fills the void of information left when other methods struggle to provide convincing data for nanoscale objects.
Exciting developments such as aberration correctors, dedicated specimen-holders, highly sensitive cameras, new data acquisition techniques, automated routines for data collection and new data processing software and methods allow electron crystallographers to determine crystal structures from micro- and nanocrystals with increasing accuracy and astonishing level of detail. The Course reviewed the traditional as well as the modern methods of electron crystallography
Pictured above are Andy Stewart, Gearóid Mangan and Jennifer Cookman from the Bernal Institute during an excursion to Segesta.