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The National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) is one of the world’s foremost centers for electron microscopy and microcharacterization. It is an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Located adjacent to the University of California, Berkeley, NCEM was established in 1983 to maintain a forefront research center for electron-optical characterization of materials with state-of-the-art instrumentation and expertise. As a national user facility, NCEM is open to scientists from universities, government and industrial laboratories. The center provides cutting-edge instrumentation, techniques and expertise for advanced electron beam microcharacterization of materials at high spatial resolution. NCEM’s purpose is to conduct fundamental research relating microstructural and microchemical characteristics to materials properties and processing parameters; to develop advanced electron microscopy techniques, computer algorithms and instrumentation; and to help educate future scientists in the theory and application of electron optical microcharacterization.

NCEM scientists conduct high-level research by applying new techniques to critical materials problems, and by collaborating with external research groups to maximize the impact of electron optical methods on materials science. NCEM’s focus and major impact is in the following areas of research:

-Defects and deformation
-Mechanisms and kinetics of phase transformations in materials
-Nanostructured materials
-Surfaces, interfaces and thin films
-Microelectronics materials and devices

The Center is guided by a Scientific Advisory Committee, composed of leaders in the scientific community. Access to the facility is free of charge after critical review of a scientific proposal by an external Proposal Review Committee. The interests and concerns of NCEM users are represented by an NCEM User Association, under the leadership of an elected User Executive Committee. NCEM currently maintains ten electron microscopes. User support is provided by resident scientific, technical and administrative staff.