Towards an Innovative Interoperable Platform for Electron Microscopy

13 March 2024

In the IMPRESS project, researchers from 19 European institutions are aiming to create an interoperable platform that enables samples to be transferred easily between different electron microscopes and experiments. As part of a pre-commercial procurement (PCP), which was recently launched, several competing innovative solutions are to be tested and developed up to the prototype level.

Auf dem Weg zu einer innovativen interoperablen Plattform für die Elektronenmikroskopie
Electron microscope at the Ernst Ruska-Centre (ER-C) of Forschungszentrum Jülich (Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich / Ralf-Uwe Limbach)

In electron microscopy, researchers today have access to a wide range of different instruments and methods, which are designed for different types of problems. However, until now it has hardly been possible to switch the specimen between the different devices in a protected environment and temperature. The IMPRESS project, funded by the European Union, is set to change this. The large-scale collaboration aims to develop an interoperable platform which will make it possible to exchange samples using a modular sample holder and flexibly place them in different instruments and experimental environments.

“The interoperable platform could be implemented on different transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) from different microscope manufacturers, other analytical instruments, and could be adapted by individual users to meet their unmet scientific needs to obtain innovative solutions”, says Rafal Dunin-Borkowski, director at the Ernst Ruska-Centre (ER-C) at Forschungszentrum Jülich, who is the scientific coordinator of the IMPRESS project, which is coordinated by the National Research Council in Italy (CNR).

Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP)

Suppliers who would like to participate in IMPRESS in the framework of Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) can still submit offers until March. Further information at


Prof. Dr. Rafal Dunin-Borkowski

Director of the "Physics of Nanoscale Systems" division at ER-C-1 and Director of the Institute for Microstructure Research (PGI-5)

  • Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons (ER-C)
  • Physics of Nanoscale Systems (ER-C-1) / Microstructure Research (PGI-5)
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    Last Modified: 13.03.2024