The Nanostrain project was well represented at the ALTECH symposium of the 2014 European Materials Research Society (EMRS) Spring Meeting, held in Lille, France from the 26th-30th May. The conference focused on analytical techniques for precise characterization of nanomaterials, and the peer-reviewed proceedings will be published in Physica Status Solidi (a) and (c).

Over 300 attendees were present across the week, with academic participants supplemented by a strong industrial attendance. One of the presentations was delivered by a team from aixACCT, a firm specialising in electrical testing for material development and device qualification. They presented improvements on one of their products which uses a double beam interferometer to measure the thickness change of piezoelectric thin films. As their technique is very dependent on the size of the sample, their work is unlikely to overlap too much with the similar Nanostrain research conducted at NPL.

During the course of the symposium members of European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) projects delivered 11 invited talks as well as 24 talks and tutorials including:

  • Werner Österle, Nicole Wollschläger (BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin, Germany): Focused Ion Beam Machining for Site-specific Nanocharacterization – Advances and Drawbacks (training tutorial)
  • Thomas Hase (University of Warwick, UK): Advanced XRD methodologies (training tutorial)
  • Peter Hermann, Arne Hoehl, Bernd Kaestner, Gerhard Ulm and Burkhard Beckhoff  (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Berlin, Germany): Characterization of Si-based Nanostructures by Near-Field Imaging and Nano-FTIR Spectroscopy (training tutorial)
  • Mark Stewart, Serban Lepadatu and Markys Cain (National Physical Laboratory, UK): A Geometry Independent Approach to the Measurement of the Piezoelectric Coefficient of Thin Films
  • Alex Bogdanov (A.P. Vinogradov Institute of Geochemistry SB RAS, Irkutsk, Russia; and Irkutsk State Technical University, Irkutsk, Russia), Anna V. Kimmel (National Physical Laboratory, UK):  The effect of mutual order of B-cations on electronic and optical properties of strained Pb(ZrxTi1-x)O3 (talk)
  • Anna V. Kimmel, Markys G. Cain (National Physical Laboratory, UK):  Properties of Pt/Pb(Zr0.5Ti0.5)O3 interfaces (talk)
  • J. Wooldridge, M. Stewart, C. Vecchini, M. G. Cain, M. Gutmann, M. Reece (National Physical Laboratory, UK):  Temperature and Frequency Dependence of Electric Field Induced Phase Transitions in PMN-xPT (talk)
  • Anna V. Kimmel, Carlo Vecchini, Markys Cain (National Physical Laboratory, UK):  Structural properties of Pb(ZrxTi1-x)O3 (poster)

Read more about ALTECH 2014 here

The programme of ALTECH is available here