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Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons (ER-C)

The interplay of individual atoms determines the properties of materials and components. High-resolution electron microscopy and spectroscopy offers the opportunity to decode material structures and properties in a detailed manner and is therefore a key to innovation. The Ernst Ruska-Centre (ER-C) for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons constitutes a further development of these imaging techniques.

Initially established as a joint facility operated by Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University, ER-C was newly founded as an institute on 1 January 2017. Alongside the restructuring, the infrastructure of the new institute will be expanded in order to enable devices and technologies to be used across a broad scientific spectrum. The aim is to establish a national user facility for the scientific community. With Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), ER-C is also gaining a third partner.

ER-C operates a wide range of high-performance electron microscopes permitting unique insights into the world of atoms. Among them is the first chromatically corrected microscope in Europe, PICO, as well as other instruments optimized for analytical, electron tomographic, and in situ microscopy. The major issues tackled by ER-C include the further methodological development of high-resolution electron microscopic and spectroscopic methods and their application. While high-performance microscopy at ER-C is currently being predominantly used for materials research and nanotechnology, the life sciences will be added as the first new field of application. For this purpose, a new instrument will be purchased: a cryo-electron microscope required for the investigation of biological molecules.

Managing Director 2017

Prof. Dr. Rafal Dunin-Borkowski (ER-C-1)

Additional Information


Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons (ER-C)
Physics of Nanoscale Systems (ER-C-1)
Materials Science and Technology (ER-C-2)
Structural Biology (ER-C-3)