Commission on Electron Crystallography


Annual Report 2008

The year 2008 was a rather active one for the commission, with a noticeably increased level of activity. At the 2008 IUCR conference a lively open meeting with about 30 representatives was held. As part of this a number of subcommittees was established, and their reports are given below. At this meeting the Commission voted unanimously to change its name to the "Commission on Electron Crystallography". With a definition of "Electron Crystallography" as " The branch of science that uses electron scattering to study the structure of matter" this more accurately reflects the areas of interest of the Commission. The terms of reference of the Commission are:

  • To strengthen links and interactions among electron crystallographers, and to promote a common language
  • To promote the presence at IUCr meetings of scientists working in the field of electron crystallography
  • To promote the publication of electron crystallography papers in the journals of the IUCr
  • To encourage the development and dissemination of mathematical and theoretical methods, software and databases for the solution of electron crystallographic problems
  • To promote the use of precise measurements based upon electron scattering
  • To promote and organize symposia of interest to electron crystallographers during IUCr Congresses and meetings of Regional Associates, in cooperation with other Commissions of the Union
  • To promote and organize meetings, workshops and schools in electron crystallography, particularly targeting post-graduate students and young scientists

The Commission established a Sub-Committee on Updating the International Tables of Crystallography regarding the Electron Crystallography related paragraphs, chaired by Professor J. Hadermann. The aim is to have all Electron Crystallography related paragraphs updated where necessary in the first following revision of the International Tables. The committee has reviewed the paragraphs related to Electron Crystallography and has submitted its recommendations about changes, removals and updates to Professor Fuess. When approval will be received to make the changes, scientists with the correct expertise will be solicited for the actual writing.

The Commission established a Sub-Committee on Dynamical Scattering, chaired by Professor J. Etheridge, with the aim to raise the level of knowledge and understanding of dynamical electron scattering and its role in electron crystallography. In the first instance, the committee will organize research schools covering the theory, implications and applications of dynamical scattering. These will target postgraduate and postdoctoral level researchers and will be held satellite to relevant international conferences. The committee will also encourage the publication of relevant review and teaching articles.

The Commission established a Subcommittee on Software for Electron Imaging, Diffraction & Crystallography. As part of this Professor J. M. Zuo is revitalizing the electron crystallography software database, and Dr. W. Sinkler has started work on establishing a repository for electron crystallographic data.

The Commission was involved in organizing a satellite meeting to the 2008 IUCR on the Development of Advanced Instruments for New Electron Microscopy and Diffraction.

This meeting was aimed at discussing various topics in advanced instrumentation, newly developed techniques and their applications to nano-materials covering the following topics: Precession electron diffraction / Fast diffraction / Advanced electron microscopy / Diffractive imaging / Charge density in the electron microscopy / Surfaces / Environmental cell / EELS - atom by atom / Image processing.

The Commission was involved in a Tsinghua-FEI Workshop on Cs-Corrected TEM held in Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, October 15-17, 2008, organized by Prof. Jing Zhu - the director of the Beijing National Center for Electron Microscopy which hosts the first Cs-corrected TEM in mainland China. The workshop aimed to provide basic and in depth descriptions and recent advances in Cs-corrected microscopy, including fundamental theory, principles of operation, recent technical developments, qualitative and quantitative data interpretation, as well as applications in physical sciences, material science and biological sciences. Lectures were given by well-known pioneers and experts in the field, including Prof. Knut Urban (Germany), Prof. Max Haider (Germany), Dr. Christian Kisielowski (USA), Dr. Cunlin Jia (Germany), Prof. Jianmin Zuo (USA), Dr. Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski (Denmark), Dr. Lijun Wu (USA), Prof. Fanghua Li (China), and Prof. Jianghua Chen (China). Prof. Jing Zhu (China), Prof. Hengqiang Ye (China) and Dr. Rong Yu (China) gave pre-lectures for introduction of basic knowledge on Cs corrected EM. Over 160 persons attended the Workshop.

At the committee meeting of the commission on electron crystallography future plans for future meetings / workshops were reviewed. It was noted that the commission had not hosted a meeting on the African continent and in view of its commitment to training and outreach Professor A. Kirkland was asked to investigate the possibility of hoisting a workshop in South Africa. Subsequently Professor A. Kirkland has had extensive discussions with the National Science Foundation in South Africa who have indicated strong support for such a meeting and moreover have agreed to provide provisional funds of $10,000 and to assist with local organization. At the current time we are discussing suitable dates in 2010 together with venues and a final meeting format. Subsequently we anticipate having a full proposal for consideration by the IUCR in mid 2009 together with an accurate funding model.

At the satellite meeting held in Nagoya immediately after the IUCR congress it was agreed by the participants that the Electron Microscopy community was lacking a robust definition of resolution for both Transmission and Scanning Transmission modes. Professor A. Kirkland agreed to setup a working group to discuss this topic and ultimately to provide a set of working definitions.

A Symposium Electron Crystallography for Materials Research was organized by Peter Moeck at the Spring MRS meeting in San Francisco with invited talks by P Midgley, W Sinkler, J.-P Morniroli, Z. D. Zuo, U. Kolb, H. Klein, C. Tang, W. Neumann, L. Marks, J. M. Zuo, J. McKeown.

J. Zuo and L. D. Marks are organizing a session for the 2009 M&M meeting Electron Diffraction and Imaging Techniques for Quantitative Structure Determination, with invited talks from P. Midgley, S. Nicopolous, X. Xou, J. Tao, F.-R. Chen and S. Marchesini

The Commission's home page is maintained by the Chair, L. D. Marks, and can be found at