SIG-04 Activity Reports 2000-2008

Report 2007-2008

1. Introduction.


2. Past Activities.

Title: ElCryst 2007 – New Instruments & Methods for Electron Crystallography

Number of Participants: 65

Organizers: Thomas E. Weirich, Alexander Reinholdt, both from Aachen University

Short Description: A European workshop was held between 16 to 20 September 2007 in Aachen, Germany with main focus on new instrumentation in electron microscopy relevant for structure determination. So the lectures presented during the workshop introduced a broad spectrum of different methods and techniques ranging from aberration corrected TEM and focal-series reconstruction over electron holography and high-resolution STEM to electron tomography, crystallographic image processing and precession electron diffraction. Moreover different crystallographic aspects related to electron microscopy such as automated symmetry determination and reciprocal space reconstruction by electron diffraction or how local crystallographic information can be extracted from EELS have been treated. The workshop was completed by several supplementary demonstrations and practical sessions which were offered at the end of the meeting.

Title: First “precession electron diffraction” user meeting

Number of Participants: about 25

Organizers: Carmelo Giacovazzo (IC-CNR Bari, Italy), Stavros Nicolopoulos (NanoMEGAS, Belgium)

Short Description: Martina Franca (near Bari, Italy) was the place for the first “precession electron diffraction” which happened at the 8 and 9 May 2008. This meeting provided a discussion forum for users of the electron precession method who intend to study nanomaterials.

3. Future/Programmed Activities.

none so far

4. Other matters.

In April 2008 we launched the elmiX project which is a GNU/Linux live CD that contains electron microscopy software for data evaluation and teaching. This CD contains also several programs that are relevant in the field of electron crystallography. Home page of the project is

5. Five year ‘overview’, brief activity report (2004-2008)

The SIG on electron crystallography kept very active in the field to organises at least one meeting/workshop per year, i.e.

  • ElCryst 2007 – New Instruments & Methods for Electron Crystallography, European Workshop, 16 – 20 September 2007, Aachen, Germany
  • X-El 2006 – School on structure determination by the combination of X-ray powder diffraction and Electron Crystallography, 1 – 4 August, 2006 – Antwerp, Belgium.
  • ElCryst2005 – New Frontiers in Electron Crystallography, Brussels, Belgium. 2 – 8 September 2005.
  • Electron Crystallography – Novel Approaches for Structure Determination of Nanosized Materials, 35th International School of Crystallography, Erice, Sicily, Italy. 9 – 20 June 2004.

6. Estimated number of active members: 15

7. List SIG officers, name and e-mail, and specify their main function in the SIG:

Chair: Dr. Thomas E. Weirich, Aachen (Germany),

Secretary: Dr. Ute Kolb, Mainz (Germany),

Supplementary Materials.

– none –

Report 2006-2007

1. Introduction.

Improvement of reliable methods for structure determination by electron crystallography are still matter of current research. This situation is reflected

by the increasing number of method oriented research manuscripts published in this field per year. The increasing trust in electron methods and the need for such methods for characterising nanoscale materials are obviously the main driving forces for these activities. However, while the leadership of current electron crystallography has been for a long period by European groups, this situation is very likely to change in the near future due to increasing competition from groups in the US and elsewhere. The present situation in Europe is to some extend home-made because electron crystallography failed so far to reach the critical mass and is therefore still established in its priority by other lobbies from conventional crystallography and electron microscopy. As a direct consequence electron crystallography has only low attractiveness for younger people which will make the situation even worse in the future. We have also to realise that this trend could not stopped or inverted by the activities of the SIG alone who regularly arranges summer schools and workshops on this topic


It cannot be expected that this situation will change until the communities at the EU and federal state level feel committed to install dedicated institutions, in particular professorships for electron crystallography (each per EU country would be best), who take care about teaching and intense methodological research in this area. The present author is aware of the existing difficulties in several countries to defend the university chairs in crystallography against other faculties, but this action appears at present the only possible way to guarantee continuance of electron crystallography in Europe.

2. Past Activities.

Title: X-El 2006 – School on structure determination by the combination of X-ray powder diffraction, and Electron Crystallography, 1 – 4 August, 2006 – Antwerp, Belgium.

Number of Participants: about 70

Sponsors/Organizers: FEI, EMS, INTAS, BVM, The University of Antwerp, ESTEEM, Calidris and Nanomegas / organised by J. Hadermann, L. Meshi

Short Description:


3. Future/Programmed Activities.

Title: ElCryst2007 – New Instruments & Methods for Electron Crystallography

Aachen, Germany, 16 – 21 September 2007

Sponsors/Organizers: Calidris, CEOS, FEI (Germany), JEOL (Germany),

NanoMEGAS, Tietz Video and Image Processing /organised by T.E. Weirich

Short Description: see

4. Other matters.

Proceedings of the Electron Crystallography School 2005 have been published in

Ultramicroscopy Volume 107, Issues 6 – 7, Pages 431 – 558, Edited by Stavros Nicolopoulos and Thomas E.Weirich

Supplementary Materials.


Report 2005-2006


– Two microsymposia at XX Congress of the International Union of Crystallography Florence, Italy. 23 – 31 August 2005.

  • MS 69 Electron Crystallography on Organic Crystals and Biomolecules chaired by: Hans Hebert (Stockholm, S) & Ute Kolb (Mainz,D), for details see:
  • MS 91 Electron Crystallography on Inorganic Crystals chaired by: Jacob Jansen (Delft, NL) & Vera Klechkovskaya (Moscow, RUS), for details see:

– One summer school: ElCryst2005 – New Frontiers in Electron Crystallography, Brussels, Belgium. 2-8 September 2005 organised by Stavros Nicolopoulos (Belgium, B) for details and lecture notes visit:

– One book published: Electron Crystallography – Novel Approaches for Structure Determination of Nanosized Materials,, Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Electron Crystallography, Erice, Italy, 10 – 24 June 2004, Weirich, Thomas E.; Lábár, János L.; Zou, Xiaodong (Eds.) NATO Science Series II: Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry, Vol. 211, 2006, XVIII, 536 p., ISBN: 1-4020-3919-0 for details see: this page


– Two microsymposia at international conferences: ECM23 – 23rd European Crystallographic Meeting, Leuven, Belgium, 6 – 11 August 2006

– One summer school: X-El 2006 – School on structure determination by the combination of X-ray powder diffraction and Electron Crystallography, 1 – 4 August, 2006 – Antwerp, Belgium. A joint initiative of the SIG on Electron Crystallography and SIG on Powder Diffraction. Organizers: Joke Hadermann (Antwerp, B) & Louisa Meshi (Beer-Sheva, IL). for details see:

– Special issue on Electron Crystallography in ULTRAMICROSCOPY, journal web-page: Editors of the volume: S. Nicolopoulos (Brussels, B) & T. E. Weirich (Aachen, D) scheduled for fall 2006

Report 2004-2005

Members of the SIG have been/will be involved in the following activities:

ElCryst2004 Novel Approaches for Structure Determination of Nanosized Materials

The NATO Advanced Study Institute and 36th international crystallographic course organised by Thomas E. Weirich, Janos L. Labar and Xiaodong Zou was devoted to the novel approaches of electron crystallography for structure determination of nanosized materials. The course took place 9. – 20. June 2004 at the renown Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture in Erice, Sicily and brought together 87 participants from 32 different countries. Supplementary material (videos, handouts) of the course is available at

ECM 22, 26-31 August 2004, Budapest, Hungary

Keynote lecture: A.S. Avilov, Quantitative Electron Diffraction Structure Analysis,

Microsymposia: Quantitative electron microscopy, chairs: Chris Gilmore, Jouk Jansen and Electron microscopy combined with other methods, chairs: Jon Gjonnes, Ute Kolb

Annual Meeting of the German Crystallographic Association (DGK), 28 February – 4 March, Cologne, Germany

Keynote lecture: T. E. Weirich, Electron crystallography of inorganic materials – present status and future

XX. congress of the IUCr, 23-31 August, Florence, Italy

Keynote lecture: Ahmed Zewail, Ultrafast Electron Crystallography, Chair: Xiadong Zou

Microsymposium: Electron Crystallography on Inorganic Crystals, Chairs: Jacob Jansen, Vera Klechkovskaya

ElCryst2005 – New Frontiers in Electron Crystallography, Brussels, Belgium 2-8 September 2005, organised by Stavros Nicolopoulos, a satellite conference of the XX. congress of the IUCr,

Thomas E. Weirich

Aachen, 24 May 2005


Report 2002-2003

From August 2002 to August 2003 the group and its members have been involved in the following activities:

  1. At the IUCr XIX Congress in Geneva an open meeting of the SIG4 was held at 12 th August. Chris Gilmore (Glasgow) resigned as chair and Ute Kolb (Mainz) was elected as chair of the SIG.
  2. Ute Kolb (Mainz) and Christian K?bel (Eindhoven) organized a session called “Advances in electron crystallography” at 21 th ECM Meeting in Durban on 25 th August.
  3. Stavros Nicolopoulos (Madrid) and Thomas Weirich (Aachen) were involved in the organization of a School on Electron Crystallography entitled “Electron Diffraction Structure Analysis and Electron Microscopy of Inorganic and Organic Substances taking place in Moscow, Russia, 23 th – 27 th June 2003.
  4. Many members of the SIG are involved in the organization of the 36 th international crystallographic course at Erice entiteled “Electron Crystallography – Novel Approaches for Structure Determination of Nanosized Materials” scheduled for June 9 to 20, 2004 and running parallel to the 35 th crystallographic course Diversity amidst similarity: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Polymorphism, Solvates and Phase Relationships.
  5. Contributions on “electron crystallography” were given by Janos Labar to the 6 th Multinational Congress on Microscopy in Croatia in June 2003.
  6. The Web page of the SIG4 is managed by Thomas Weirich (Aachen) as an electron crystallography forum (see ).
  7. Ute Kolb (Mainz) is a member of the ESF Network on Polymorphism and contributes to the 3 rd workshop on Polymorphism in Innsbruck, Austria on 11. -14. September 2003.

As discussed during the SIG4 meeting in Geneva electron crystallography, which gains performance rapidly and grows in its importance, should interact more with fields like powder diffraction. There have been allready attempts of different SIG members to start up such activities. The variety of electron diffraction applications for a broad range of compounds should be combined better and the allready existing network aktivities will be intensified.

Ute Kolb

Mainz Thursday, 22. August 2003

SIG 4#  Report 2001-2002
13 August 2002

from Chris Gilmore

During the past year the group and its members have been involved in the following activities:

  • Two sessions at the Krakov ECM, one jointly with Mineralogical Crystallography were organised by Ute Kolb and Chris Gilmore.
  • The award of the Patterson Prize to Doug Dorset. From this award two sessions of relevance to the EC-SIG were organised at the ACA meeting in San Antonio, Texas:
    (a) A whole day on electron crystallography.
    (b) A one day session on electron microscopy and macromolecules.
  • The BCA meeting in Nottingham in 2002 also contained talks on electron diffraction in sessions devoted to the phase problem.
  • Sven Hovmöller (Sweden) is organising a session for the Durban ECM in 2003.
  • Sven Hovmöller organised an electron crystallography workshop in Tampere, Finland in 2002.
  • There was a two-day meeting on quantitative electron crystallography in Delft in January 2002 organised by Henny Zandbergen.
  • There was a 1? day meeting at the MSA conference in Quebec devoted to EC organised by Wharton Sinkler.
  • A special issue of Z. Krist. devoted to EC is planned. Nine papers have been received and publication is expected at Easter, 2003.
  • Thomas Weirich (Aachen University of Technology) operates an effective web site which acts as an electron crystallography forum (see

Electron crystallography I growing in both importance and in its profile; the above list is a clear indication of this. We need, however, to interect more with other SIGs especially powder diffraction.

The current chairperson is Chris Gilmore (University of Glasgow). His heavy duties at the university make it impossible for him to continue as chair and Ute Kolb (University of Mainz) will take over assisted as necessary by Thomas Weirich.

Chris Gilmore
Geneva Tuesday, 13 August 2002

SIG 4#  Report 1999-2000
31 July  2000

Jon Gjonnes   

The SIG in Electron Crystallography was formally approved by ECA Council in February 1999, based on a proposal from Sven Hovmöller, Stockholm and Jon Gjonnes, Oslo.

Activities 1999-2000: schools, workshops, web-site :

Sven Hovmöller and Xiaodong Zou held their 5-th School on Electron Crystallography at Nantes 14-18. June 1999 in co-operation with  Institut des Materiaux de Nantes

An Euro Summer School in Electron Crystallography is organized 31 July – 4 August 2000 in Aachen, by Hans-Joachim Klaar,  Joachim Mayer and Sven Hovmöller.

A workshop discussion on ‘The phase problem in electron crystallography and crystal structure determination by electrons’ was held on 4 Aug. 1999, as an auxiliary activity to the IUCr congress 1999 in Glasgow. Ca 35 attended. (During the congress there were three microsymposia dealing specifically with electron crystallography.)

In connection with EUREM-2000, the European Electron Microscopy  Congress, in Brno 8-14 July, a workshop on Electron Crystallography was held on 8 July, organized by Ingrid Voigt-Martin and John Fryer.

At ECM-19  three microsymposia in our field are included in the program:
– Nanostructured materials by diffraction, microscopy and microanalysis;
– Electron crystallography of small molecules and organic materials;
– Electron crystallography in mineralogy and materials science.

During ECM-19 there will be a SIG business meeting, on Sunday 27 August, see agenda below

A “Electron Crystallography Forum” has been made by Thomas Weirich, Darmstadt.

Prospects and future plans for Electron Crystallography (EC)

During the last decade EC has been (re-)established as a workable method for solving crystal structure, based on electron diffraction intensities and/or high-resolution images, as successfully demonstrated on a variety of inorganic, organic and macromolecular structures. Considerable progress has been made on the instrumental and experimental side, in intensity recording, application of crystallographic programs and refinement schemes based on HRTEM images and CBED-patterns. A series ofSchools on EC in recent years have furthered interest and awareness of EC as a method in structure research.

The next stage should focus on applications to structures that combine specific advantages of the EC method with  wider crystallographic significance. Examples may be inclusion of charge  distribution in the crystallography of functional materials; the crystallography of nanoparticles and nanostructured materials. At the same time attention should be given to further development of techniques and procedures, with the view to attain a standard of documentation comparable to the X-ray method. The Business meeting scheduled for 27 Aug. will start a discussion of these questions.

Agenda for SIG Business meeting, Sunday 27 Aug,
in the ST33 room, in the ECM19 exhibition hall, ground  floor.
1. Report of SIG activities 1999-2000  [ this report ]
2. Future activities
a) Meetings:    Krakow, Jerusalem,
b) Schools
c) Development program
d) Other actions
3. Statutes and aims of the SIG
4. Election of committee
Jon Gjonnes