100 N. Plastira, Heraklion Crete, 70013 Greece


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The NANOlab center of excellence at the University of Antwerp consists of 6 groups encompassing a multidisciplinary pool of research interests ranging from advanced characterization, theoretical modelling, technological applications, and their economic relevance in the field of nanoscience. As such, research topics related to two dimensional materials focus on developing tools for advanced nanoscale structural and chemical characterization through transmission electron microscopy and advancing the theoretical understanding of their opto-electronic properties through multiscale modeling down to the atomistic limit.


NANOlab Center of Excellence

The center uses a synergistic and multidisciplinary approach that is based on the combination of the following complementary tools:

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chemical and structural characterization of nanomaterials: advanced transmission electron microscopy and X-ray based tools;

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theory and modelling of nanomaterials: statistical quantification of TEM data-sets, multiscale modelling - finite element/differences, tight-binding, classical molecular dynamics, ab-initio;

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economic modelling: techno-economic and environmental modelling of emerging technologies.

The electron microscopy group “EMAT” (Electron Microscopy for Materials Science) forms the core group within this center of excellence The group has an outstanding, worldwide reputation in the field of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for materials science. The group has major expertise regarding:

  • investigation of the structure of nanomaterials and interfaces through electron diffraction and high-resolution TEM imaging
  • electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and energy filtered TEM
  • three-dimensional imaging through electron tomography
  • imaging interfaces in hybrid compounds.

EMAT has a very broad expertise in materials characterization with state-of-the-art TEM ranging from battery materials, oxide electronics, semiconductor devices, solar cells, catalytic materials, soft matter and polymers, alloys, mesoporous materials, biomaterials, carbon-based materials, 2D materials, superconductive materials and many more.

The condensed matter theory “CMT” group’s research expertise covers broadly the physics of low-dimensional systems, including graphene and 2D materials, The group develops and uses a wide variety of methods, from analytical approaches to classical molecular dynamics or tight-binding models, which are coupled to first principles approaches, and have been applied in the past to investigate mechanical, magnetic, and opto-electronic properties of a range of (hybrid) materials. The impact of the work is demonstrated by numerous collaborations with experimental groups and joint publications in high-impact journals.


Infrastructure – Electron microscopy

EMAT has 2 SEM, 1 dual beam focused ion beam and 6 TEM instruments.

  • aberration corrected advanced microscopes: 2 Thermo Fisher Scientific Titan, 1 Thermo Fisher Themis Z are aberration corrected  (60 and 300 kV), with a resolution limit of 50 pm
  • direct electron detector was installed in 2017, which will further enhance the capabilities of imaging soft materials at previously unavailable spatial resolution and analytical detail
  • GIF Enfinium spectrometer for EELS
  • highly efficient energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) system
  • imaging with iDPC, allowing simultaneous observation of light and heavy elementshigh resolution (S)TEM image simulation, MULTEM, STATSTEM
  • modelling and interpreting EELS spectra (EELSMODEL-software developed at EMAT)
  • an array of in-situ TEM holders to study materials under realistic conditions: gas/heating system (DensSolutions Climate holder), liquid-biasing system (DensSolutions Stream holder), and cryo-holder Fishione

Expertise and access to high-performance computational tools: multiscale techniques for the description of structural, electronic, vibrational, magnetic, optical and transport properties of (atomic) heterostructures, using molecular dynamics (LAMMPS), tight-binding (Pybinding, KITE and TBStudio) and DFT codes (VASP, Quantum Espresso, Ab-Init, Yambo and GW-BSE). Access to European HPC infrastructure is available through the LUMI-Supercomputer (accessible through small peer-reviewed applications) and the VSC – Flemish Supercomputer Center:

  • Tier-1 node is accessible through small peer-reviewed grant applications.
  • Tier-2 nodes (large memory nodes with 9728 and 4312 cores) are freely accessible at the University of Antwerp.

NANOlab links: https://nano.uantwerpen.be, https://twitter.com/nano_uantwerp, https://www.facebook.com/nanoantwerpen/


Main tasks and responsibilities within the project:


  • TEM characterization of 2D materials
  • 4DSTEM and exit wave reconstruction for structural analysis
  • low loss EELS and q-resolved EELS for excitons
  • wide field of view scanning
  • modelling of opto-electronic properties of 2D materials
  • on-site training opportunities at UA (EMAT and CMT)
  • workshops and schools in TEM and modelling
  • visits of PIs, PhD and Postdocs to Greece/France for training purposes


  • WP2 leader (Expanding Excellence & Networking Activities)
  • Training of administrative personel (courses/vists at UA and vists in Greece)