International Conference

1-3 SEPTEMBER 2021


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This conference, jointly organised by the Q-SORT, 3D MAGiC, SMART-electron, Holo Workshop, MINEON projects, explores coherent electron-beam manipulation from different, complementary perspectives.

Any COVID-19 restriction at the time of the conference will be dealt with by holding some or all of the talks online.

Concepts such as electron coherence, electron phase control & holography, characterisation of magnetic phase, light-electron interaction, phase plates for imaging or for beam shaping, are all at the forefront of electron microscopy research. Moreover, they are also of interest outside the microscopy field.

In this joint conference, we will explore some of these themes together: cross-fertilisation and topic contiguity will stimulate discussions and new ideas. The conference also aims to facilitate networking, fostering an even larger community. The different reference communities of the four organising projects will have the chance to speak to each other.

The themes at the centre of this conference affect the design of electron-based measurement instruments such as the electron microscope and in general of all electron optics. Not only can we measure the electron phase and through it the electric and magnetic fields, but we can also control it, tune the phase of light waves interacting with the electron beam, as well as the kind of electron interaction with the sample — all of this while controlling the state (e.g. the magnetisation) of the sample itself.

The events are all happening online, but  preference is given to round tables and discussions, so as to keep things lively and engaging.

The conference is structured around three sessions, pertaining to Q-SORT & SMART-electron, 3D MAGiC, and Holo respectively. 

The Q-SORT + SMART-electron session will regard topics such as electron beam shaping, its applications in spectroscopies, electron light interaction, and time-resolved phase-coherent experiments.

The 3D MAGiC session will focus more on the new ideas of control and measurement of surprising magnetic states with unconventional and advanced magnetic field control.

The Holo session will regard the more general field of holography, with emphasis on new ideas for measuring fields, measuring coherence, reconstructing the electron phase, improving the SNR through phase shifting or stack acquisition, and their applications in material science.



Recent developments in the spatial and temporal shaping of electron beams are spreading rapidly, as they provide routes towards image-resolution enhancement and novel microscopy techniques. Most of these methods, such as passive and dynamic wave-packet modulation, as well as structured light-matter interaction, are inspired by their optical counterpart and have now been explored in transmission electron microscopy.  However, other schemes exist, inspired by quantum optics, such as the so-called “interaction-free” methods, optimal quantum state tomography, and ghost imaging, which may be implemented in electron microscopy. These new methods hold the promise of new measurements at different space-time scales, allowing the verification of new quantum phenomena and their interpretations, as well as the optimisation of experiments so as to extract new quantities and new dynamical descriptions of  matter. This session aims to gather experts from the fields of electron and laser beam shaping, methodological cryomicroscopy, free-space electron optics and related sub-fields of quantum mechanics. Reaching the end of the Q-SORT project, it is the right moment to consider what is the state of the art and what is the future of these ideas in many directions as witnessed by new projects and ideas. It  will therefore be a new opportunity for the participants to foresee together the most important directions that electron optics is taking in the quantum microscopy direction. This session will also examine technological applications of beam shaping techniques, with particular reference to MINEON, the EIC Innovation Launchpad project which constitutes the continuation of Q-SORT.


The 3D MAGiC ERC SYNERGY project studies three-dimensional magnetic solitons. This session brings together experts on magnetic imaging, magnetic manipulation, theory and device applications. The aim of 3D MAGiC is to study still largely unknown nanoscale magnetic structures that have particle-like properties and whose existence has so far only been predicted theoretically. Novel theoretical and experimental approaches in this area will be discussed. These include methods based on electron-matter and light-matter interactions, to measure and characterise magnetic fields with high temporal and spatial resolution. This session of the conference aims to stimulate synergies and the interest of this project in the field of coherent-electron based characterisation of magnetism and especially holography and ultrafast pump-and-probe measurements.



The Holography workshop aims to be an informal session that inspires discussion about all the different types of electron holography, whether it be inline, off-axis, or dark-field electron holography. The general themes encompass all the practical aspects involved from electron beam and biprism parameters, image acquisition, post processing, to phase analysis. These will include some common practice techniques, but placing emphasis on new ideas for measuring electromagnetic fields, analysis of coherence, reconstructing the electron phase, improving the SNR through phase shifting or stack acquisition, double exposure, pushing the limits of spatial resolution and phase sensitivity, holographic vector field electron tomography, image alignment and their applications in material science and a range of practical fields. The scope of this session will also cover other electron microscopy methods directly related to the handling, measuring and controlling the phase of the electron wave. Indeed, recent advances in ptychography, iDPC and 4D STEM are of great importance and relevant to this session, with fruitful discussions about the combined use of such techniques to solve problems, are strongly encouraged, as well as any challenges that are involved. The session will include several invited speakers that are experts in electron holography and other phase-related techniques, but all participants will be able to share their latest ideas and discoveries through relaxed dialogues.