Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons (ER-C)
The positions and identities of atoms determine the structural and functional properties of materials. Individual atoms can now be imaged using the techniques of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy. The Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons (ER-C) specialises in the development of these techniques and in their use to understand the properties of materials and devices and their applications.
The ER-C operates a wide range of state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopes, which are used to provide unique insight into the world of atoms. These instruments include the first chromatic aberration corrected transmission electron microscope in Europe, the Titan PICO, as well as other aberration corrected microscopes that are optimized for analytical, tomographic and in situ transmission electron microscopy. The ER-C places a strong emphasis on the methodological development of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy and on the application of these techniques to topical scientific problems.
The ER-C was founded in 2004 as a joint facility operated by Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University and as a national user facility for high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. On 1 January 2017, the ER-C attained the status of an independent scientific institute in Forschungszentrum Jülich.
The establishment of the ER-C as an independent scientific institute involves the expansion of its profile to cover a broader spectrum of scientific disciplines. Whereas high-performance transmission electron microscopy in the ER-C was previously applied primarily to research in materials science and nanotechnology, applications to the life sciences and soft materials have been added to its portfolio. New cryo-electron microscopes for the investigation of biological samples have been purchased and the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) will join the ER-C as a third partner.