June 14, 2024

University of Antwerp

The University of Antwerp is a young and dynamic university that has created 5 centres of excellence of which one is devoted to nanoscience.

Electron Microscopy for Materials Science (EMAT)

EMAT group that is one of these centres has an outstanding, worldwide reputation in the field of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for materials science. The group has major expertise in the investigation of the structure of radiation sensitive nanomaterials and interfaces through electron diffraction and high resolution TEM imaging, electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), energy filtered TEM, three-dimensional imaging through electron tomography and imaging interfaces in hybrid compounds.

Research Team

EMAT has 8 academic staff members, about 15 postdocs and more than 25 PhD students. EMAT will host ESR10.


EMAT has 2 SEM, 1 dual beam focused ion beam and 6 TEM instruments. The most advanced microscopes (FEI Titan) are aberration corrected, operated at voltages between 60 and 300 kV with a resolution limit of 50 pm. A new direct electron detector was installed in 2017, which will further enhance the capabilities of imaging soft materials at previously unavailable spatial resolution and analytical detail. The FEI Titan microscopes are also equipped with the latest GIF Enfinium dedicated spectrometer for EELS. In combination with the scanning TEM mode (STEM) this offers unique opportunities for 2D atomic resolution mapping of elements and electronic properties.

As an alternative to EELS, the instrument also offers a highly efficient energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) system. The high efficiency of this EDX detector allows to record atomic resolution EELS and EDX mapping simultaneously. EMAT also has commercial scientific software and in-house developed packages available for image processing, high resolution (S)TEM image simulation, modelling and interpreting EELS spectra (EELS MODEL-software developed at EMAT), etc. An array of in situ holders is available for use in the TEM instruments among which a gas/heating system (Dens-Solutions Climate holder) use in the TEM instruments among which a gas/heating system (DensSolutions Climate holder), a liquid-biasing system (DensSolutions Stream holder) and a dedicated heating system (DensSolutions Wildfire holder) to study materials under realistic conditions.