Meeting report

Erice Schools of Crystallography

Erice, Italy, June 2–12, 2011

Electron Crystallography – New Methods to Explore Structure and Properties of the Nano World

[Erice electron crystallography]
[Electron participants] Electron Crystallography school participants.

The course was held in parallel to 'The Power of Powder Diffraction' with 90 total participants from 25 countries, and included 38 lectures, 9 demo talks, 16 lab courses and 25 poster presentations. The school had three major goals.

1) To provide a strong background on crystallography in general and electron crystallography in particular.

Since the participants' backgrounds were diverse, basic lectures on crystallography and electron microscopy proved to be extremely helpful. Leaders in the field gave lectures on the fundamentals of crystallography, electron diffraction theory and the theory of image formation in the electron microscope, as well as the construction of electron microscopes. (M. Gemmi, Italy; C. Giacovazzo, Italy; K. Tsuda, Japan; L. Meshi, Israel; L. Marks, USA; J. Jansen, Netherlands; D. van Dyck, Netherlands; J. Paul Morniroli, France; J. Hadermann, Belgium; and R. Dinnebier, Germany).

Demo talks and lab sessions (T. Gorelik, Germany; E. Mugnaioli, Germany; P. Müller, USA; and G. L. Cascarano, Italy) provided insight into software for data analysis, processing and interpretation.

2) To introduce students to techniques for data acquisition and processing.

New technical developments (O. Krivanek, USA; U. Kaiser, Germany; J. Pieter Abrahams, Netherlands) as well as new methodologies (P. Oleynikov, Sweden; S. Rubino, Sweden; C. Koch, Germany; U. Kolb, Germany) were covered. A series of talks on established methods and the possibilities to improve their precision were given (S. Hovmöller, Sweden; S. Nicolopoulos, Belgium; K. Tsuda, Japan; Y. Zhu, USA; A. Avilov, Russia; M. Gemmi, Italy; L. Marks, USA; J. Jansen, Netherlands)

3) To cover different approaches for structure solution and derivation of structure-property relationships.

The structure solution lectures were held jointly with the powder course (C. Giaccovazzo, Italy; C. Gilmore, Scotland; L. Palatinus, Czech Rep.; K. Shankland, Britain; C. Bärlocher, Switzerland; M. U. Schmidt, Germany), giving the participants of both courses a chance to gain a deeper understanding of complementary scientific fields. Additional presentations were given on specialized methods and algorithms to achieve structural information (F. Chukovskii, Russia; A. Stewart, Germany). The course covered crystallography of inorganic and organic materials, aperiodic structures and proteins (M. van Heel, Britain; J. P. Abrahams, Netherlands; and M. U. Schmidt, Germany). The investigation of structure-property relationships was covered by methods of direct measurements as well as by indirect analysis. (S. Rubino, Sweden; R. Dunin-Borkowski, Germany; M. Hytch, USA).

The lecturers included young and promising scientists as well as leaders in the field. This and the high variety of topics gave all scientists, lecturers and students the opportunity to learn from one another and to gain new ideas. The results of a questionnaire distributed to all participants gave a very positive score of 90 for the meeting overall and nearly 82 for the workshop component.

Electron Crystallography Prizes

Poster Prize Winners

Dmitri Batuk (U. of Antwerp, Belgium)
Maria Batuk (U. of Antwerp, Belgium)
Shmuel Samuha (Ben Gurion U., Israel)

Special Mention

Tom Willhammar (Stockholm U., Sweden), Irina Andrusenko (U. of Mainz, Germany), Miguel Avalos (Inst. Potosino de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecn., Mexico), Mariana Klementova (Inst. of Physics, Czech Rep.), Wilder Carrillo-Cabrera (Max Planck Inst., Germany) and Christoph Gammer (U. of Wien, Austria)

Lodovico Prize

Song Bo (Delft U. of Technology, The Netherlands)

Special Mention

Lotnyk Andriy (U. of Kiel, Germany) and Pallewatta A. Pramod (Risø Nat’l Lab. for Sustainable Energy, Denmark)

The Power of Powder Diffraction

[Erice powder diffraction]
[Powder participants] Participants in the Power of Powder Diffraction school.

This intensive course involved 78 participants and 26 speakers from 30 countries. The program included 39 lectures, 9 software demonstrations and 12 workshops. Lecture notes, including written contributions by the invited speakers, poster abstracts and photos of all contributors, were distributed to everyone upon arrival in Erice. All this was backed up by excellent IT facilities and support.

This comprehensive course on the diverse field of powder diffraction covered fundamentals, instrumentation at the frontiers, structure solution, challenging systems, complementary methods, imperfect materials, quantitative phase analysis, textured systems and future trends. Instrumentation was covered from the basic laboratory level through the facility (synchrotron and neutron) level, with a view to highlighting the various levels at which powder diffraction is performed and the scientific opportunities that such diversity affords.

The speakers presented complex material in ways accessible to an audience with a wide range of expertise and experience. Lectures were reinforced by demonstration sessions and follow-up workshops. Participants were encouraged to bring their own laptops and install the relevant software/data, and learn enough to work with the software long after the close of the meeting. Most speakers were present for the duration of the course for informal discussions. Groups of participants could meet with a designated tutor (speakers) for lunch.

Several awards were made for the best poster presentations and the main ('Lodovico') award was given to Paul Smart (U. of Sheffield), for his questions and contributions to discussions over the duration of the course.

More than 98% of attendees expressed the feeling that there should be another meeting along similar lines, held within the next 6 years. Various suggestions for improvements at future meetings were also received, particularly on maximizing the value of the workshop component.

Powder Diffraction Prizes

[Erice prize winners] Erice 2011 Schools of Crystallography award winners with school directors Louisa Meshi and Ute Kolb (Electron Crystallography), Kenneth Shankland and Bill David (Powder Diffraction), Simon Billinge (a judge of the poster prize), Paola Spadon and Annalisa Guerri.

Poster Prizes

Andrew K. Inge (Stockholm U., Sweden)
Dubravka Sisak (ETH, Zurich, Switzerland)
Martina Vrankic (Rudjer Boskovic Inst., Croatia)

Special Mention

Niels Bindzus (Aarhus U., Denmark), Tanja Gnutzmann (BAM Federal Inst. of Mat. Res. & Testing, Germany), Marcin Oszajca (Jagiellonian U., Poland), Jasminka Popovic (Rudjer Boskovic Inst., Croatia) and Casper Ibsen (Aarhus U., Denmark).

Lodovico Prize

Paul Smart, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Special Mention

Saul Lapidus (SUNY Stony Brook, USA), Giulio I. Lampronti (U. of Bologna, Italy), Paolo P. Mazzeo (U. of Bologna, Italy), Mark Senn (U. of Edinburgh, UK)

Annalisa Guerri