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Nanomaterials and advanced characterization


ALTECH 2021 - Analytical techniques for precise characterization of nano materials

Metrology is a prerequisite for the development of novel materials on the nanoscale. It supports the correlation of material properties and functionalities. The expected contributions should demonstrate how innovative analytical techniques enable a deep understanding of new materials. This symposium organized by four major European National Metrology Institutes is a networking platform for scientist and engineers from metrology and research institutes, academia and industry. 


Nanomaterials can have unique properties associated with their small dimensionality. Recently functional nanomaterials are rapidly finding wider use in modern technological products in many areas, such as displays, energy conversion, energy storage and sensors. Here, the accurate characterization of nanoscale materials by traceable dimensional and analytical techniques is essential for the development and quality control of innovative products.  .  Metrology for nanoscale materials relies on the ability to measure, with nm or even atomic resolution, in three dimensions over large regions,  and traceable to SI units. Often, additional measurands of importance are chemical states and composition. As the structures and the dimensions are ‘nano’ or even at the atomic scale, traditional analytical techniques are being pushed to their limits requiring new innovative approaches to face state of the art problems leading to international standardisation.

This Symposium will cover recent and innovative developments in analytical techniques that can provide precise characterization of materials and devices with nanoscale and/or atomic resolution. The objective of this symposium is both to highlight the capabilities of precise techniques for the determination of the key structural and material parameters and for a better understanding of the functional properties of challenging new materials. One major focus will be on application of these techniques to new and complex materials systems with high potential of industrial application which includes nanoscale objects (nanowires, quantum dots, nanoparticles) and nanostructured thin films of organic, hydrid or inorganic semicondutors, functionalized surfaces and others.

A huge range of measurement tools have emerged to characterize nanomaterials from different perspectives. To this end, this symposium will have a special focus on in-situ, operando and complementary metrology that seeks to merge the best attributes of different measurement perspectives to support each other for solving analytical problems. Complementary analytical techniques are crucial for the analysis of complex materials, where often a single measurement method is not sufficient to ensure metrological precision, traceability and a well-described uncertainty budget. Often, a combination of optical methods, X-ray methods, ion beam methods, surface analytical and scanning-probe methods is required to ensure accurate results. Lastly, for advanced material based devices, nanoscale probing of optical and electronic properties is crucial, using methods such as tip-enhanced spectroscopy, super-resolution microscopy and other advanced opto-electronic, charged particle based and x-ray based characterization techniques. As many of these techniques depend on modeling for gaining results, effective material analysis and computational optical analysis of materials and thin layers will be a central subject.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Combined metrology for complex thin films and nanomaterials (e.g. new multiple-method approaches and combined data analysis) Analytical and dimensional nanometrology including combined methods addressing thin films, interfaces, advanced materials and nanostructures, qualification of calibration specimen and international standardization.
  • X-Ray diffraction, tomography, scattering and spectrometry-based applications on advanced materials and in nanoscience
  • Ion beam and charged particle techniques (SIMS, XPS, …) for characterization of nanomaterials
  • Advanced optical spectroscopic techniques, ultramicroscopy and interferometric or non-interferometric methods
  • Scanning-probe techniques for high resolution characterization of organic, hybrid and inorganic advanced materials (AFM, tip-enhanced spectroscopy, …)
  • Advanced metrology for energy conversion and storage materials (CIGS, thin film photovoltaics, batteries, fuel cells) as well as for nanoelectronics with respect to thin layer, depth profiling, interfacial elemental, coordination and species information

Preliminary list of invited speakers:

  • Jean-Paul Barnes / CEA-Leti – France – Correlating SIMS, XPS and AFM for the analysis of organic and inorganic semiconductor devices
  • Thomas Hase / University of Warwick – UK - X-ray Diffraction studies of nanoscale topologies in Ferroelectric materials
  • Diederik Wiersma / INRiM Turin - Italy - Smart materials for photonics
  • Gabriella Borionetti / MEMC – Italy - Nano-micro characterization of morphological and chemical defects on silicon surfaces
  • Shirley Meng / UC San Diego – USA - Advanced Diagnostic Tools for Characterizing Lithium Metal and Solid State Batteries
  • Jeppe Vang Lauritsen / Aarhus University – Denmark - Scanning Probe Microscopy studies of Metal Oxide Catalysts Surfaces - Dynamics and Reactivity
  • Birgit Kanngießer / Technical University Berlin - Germany - From the synchrotron into the laboratory: opening new alleys for the X-ray analysis of nanomaterials

Invited speaker for joint session with the CIGS symposium:

  • Claudia Schnohr, University of Leipzig – Germany – Atomic scale structure characterization of CIGS and alloys

Tentative list of scientific committee members:

  • Hele Savin / Aalto University – Finland
  • Omar El Gawhary / VSL – Netherlands
  • Ravi Silva / Univ Surrey – United Kingdom
  • Petr Klapetek / CMI – Czech Republic
  • Francois Piquemal / LNE – France
  • Roland Mainz / HZB - Germany
  • Sebastian Wood / NPL – United Kingdom
  • Narciso Gambacorti / CEA-LETI – France
  • Francesco Riganti Fulginei / Univ Roma Tre – Italy
  • Philipp Hoenicke / PTB – Germany
  • Peter Petrik / MFA / TTK – Hungary
  • Andreas Hertwig / BAM – Germany
  • Poul-Erik Hansen / DFM – Denmark
  • Sascha Nowak / MEET – Germany
  • Sebastian Risse / HZB – Germany
  • Natascia de Leo, INRIM – Italy


Original papers and feature articles related to the symposium will be published in a special issue of pss (a) - applications and materials science (Wiley).

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Symposium organizers
Burkhard BECKHOFF (Main)Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt

Abbestrasse 2-12, Berlin, Germany
Fernando Araujo de CASTRONational Physical Laboratory

Hampton Road, Teddington TW11 0LW, U.K.

Strada delle Cacce 91, 10135 Torino, Italy
Marie-Christine LEPYLNE / Laboratoire National Henri Becquerel

CEA Saclay, F- 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France