Workshop on Electron diffraction for solving engineering problems (NTNU Trondheim)

26/07/2022 | Workshops

Workshop on Electron diffraction for solving engineering problems (NTNU Trondheim)

Participants of the Workshop on Electron diffraction for solving engineering problems (NTNU Trondheim)
Participants of the Workshop on Electron diffraction for solving engineering problems (NTNU Trondheim)

From 21 to 23 June 2022, the Workshop on Electron diffraction for solving engineering problems was held at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Introduction and concept

ESTEEM3 – Enabling Science and Technology through European Electron Microscopy – is an EU-funded project for electron microscopy, which aims at providing access to the leading European state-of-the-art electron microscopy research infrastructures, facilitating and extending transnational access services of the most powerful atomic scale characterization techniques in advanced electron microscopy research to a wide range of academic and industrial research communities for the analysis and engineering of novel materials in physical, chemical and biological sciences.

Specimen preparations is the initial key step in various transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations, especially for the applications of sophisticated instruments with monochromators, aberration correctors, high-end detectors, and energy filters. The quality of the TEM specimen plays a direct role in the quality of the results obtained on the microscope. Therefore, knowing how to prepare high‐quality TEM specimens and advancing related skills are crucial.

This year’s workshop focused on how we can use electron diffraction in TEM and SEM – how to deal with ‘real’ materials, the possibilities given by better cameras, and post processing and data analysis on how to get the most out of your results. In this three days’ workshop, invited experts and skilled educators in this field addressed the essentials and the latest developments through lectures, computer exercises, and hands-on practical sessions using the NORTEM infrastructure in Trondheim.

Location and infrastructure

The workshop on Electron diffraction for solving engineering problems was held at the TEM Gemini Centre of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) from 21 to 23 June 2022. The NTNU is well equipped with state‐of‐the‐art instrumentation for applying a wide range of TEM specimen preparation techniques.  
NTNU provides access to a well-equipped all round preparation lab including mechanical thinning, tripod polishing (Allied Multiprep system), electro-polishing (Struers Tenupol), dimplers, three ion thinners (Gatan Precision Ion Polishing Systems), Fischione plasma cleaner, diamond wire saws, ultra-sonic grinders and ultramicrotomes The Centre can also provide access to FIB sample preparation (Helios Nanolab and Helios G4). For nearly all preparation techniques there are written procedures in place.

Scientific content and program

Lectures have covered different qualitative and quantitative methods in electron diffraction and how they can be used for engineering problems.

Invited speakers and course leaders were:

Local staff who participated in running computer exercises were:

NTNU started every morning with lectures. In the afternoons, experiment demos on the TEMs and computer practices on data analysis were given. Moreover, the team taught how to use various open-source scientific Python packages to analyze diffraction data.

The participants of the workshop were divided into six groups and six laboratories. Three groups were together in Pyhon/Hyperspy/Pyxem labs where they started with introduction to Hyperspy, and continued to share and demonstrate notebooks on different topics related to diffraction (SPED analysis, pattern matching, strain analysis, DPC, PDF analysis…). Several postdocs/PhD/MSc students from the first groupe, who have contributed to Pyxem/Hyperspy, gave demonstrations in these labs.

The workshop was attended by 39 participants from nine countries: Germany (10), Norway (6), Belgium (5), Sweden (3), Austria (3), United Kingdom (3), Slovenia (2), Czech Republic (2), Spain (1), Poland (1), Canada (1), India (1), France (1). Both the participants and the organizers were extremely satisfied at the end of the course after 3 very work-intensive days and said goodbye to each other with new contacts and new ideas.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 823717 – ESTEEM3.