PD Dr. Ute Kolb


August 2023: We welcome Magda, our new Post-Doc at TU-Darmstadt.

May 2023: We welcome Isabell as a research assistant in our group.

March 2023: We welcome Melanie, who is joining the group for her PhD.

February 2023: We welcome Jane and Nathalie, who are joining the group in Darmstadt. Nathalie is doing her PhD and Jane is a student assistant. Both were previously in Oliver Clemens' group at the TU Darmstadt.


August 2022: 33rd European Crystallography Meeting in Versailles

Three of our colleagues attended the 33rd European Crystallography Meeting from August 23-27, 2022. All three presented their posters on the topics "Structure Determination Study of Beam Sensitive Organics with 3D Electron Diffraction", "3DED Experimental Parameter Optimization for Metal Organic Frameworks" and "Structure solution using 3DED of beam and vacuum sensitive Metal Organic Frameworks".
We would especially like to congratulate Laura Gemmrich Hernandez, who won two poster prizes. Together with Sara Passuti she won the SIG-04 and NanoMEGAS prize in the field of electron diffraction. In addition, she won the CHARMMMAT LABEX prize in the field of advanced and functional materials.

January 2022: We welcome Melanie and Isabell, who are joining the group for their Master´s thesis projects.


NanED launched in 2021: We welcome Laura Gemmrich-Hernandéz and Marco Santucci in the group

The NanED Project - Electron Nanocrystallography, is an Innovative Training Network, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, project funded by EU (grant agreement n. 956099) aimed to train a new generation of electron crystallographers thereby paving the way for future development and establishment of the method more broadly in the academic community and within the industry. NanED is now recruiting 15 PhD students focused on the application of 3D electron diffraction to the  structure solution of nanocrystalline inorganic, organic and macromolecular compounds. The PhD students will work in the best European laboratories and universities where 3D electron diffraction has been developed. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme offers highly competitive and attractive salaries. Gross and net amounts are subject to country-specific deductions as well as individual factors such as family allowance. This will be discussed in detail during the interview.

IUCr Gjønnes Medal

Ute Kolb receives IUCr Gjønnes Medal in Electron Crystallography in 2020

The IUCr Gjønnes Medal in Electron Crystallography has been awarded to Sven Hovmöller and Ute Kolb for their pioneering work in the field of electron crystallography, particularly for developing 3D electron diffraction techniques. This highly recognized price has been awarded since 2008 every third year to high impact contributions in the field of electron microscopy (2008 J. Gjønnes, 2011 A. Howie & M. J. Whelan, 2014 J. Steeds & M. Tanaka, 2017 R. Henderson & N. Unwin). Sven Hovmöller and Ute Kolb will receive their award during the 25th IUCr Congress in Prague, Czech Republic, in August 2021, where they will share the presentation of a Keynote Lecture. (image: IUCR)

Science 363, 396–400 (2019)

A hydrated crystalline calcium carbonate phase: Calcium carbonate hemihydrate

As one of the most abundant materials in the world, calcium carbonate, CaCO3, is the main constituent of the skeletons and shells of various marine organisms. It is used in cement industry and plays a crucial role in the global carbon cycle and formation of sedimentary rocks. For more than a century, only three polymorphs of pure CaCO3—calcite, aragonite, and vaterite—were known to exist at ambient conditions, as well as two hydrated crystal phases, monohydrocalcite (CaCO3·1H2O) and ikaite (CaCO3·6H2O). A hitherto unknown monoclinic nano crystalline phase, hemihydrate CaCO3·½H2O, was solved based on automated diffraction tomography (ADT) data. 

Nature Communications 9:1374 (2018)

A high-strength silicide phase in a stainless steel alloy designed for wear-resistant applications

Hardfacing alloys provide strong, wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant coatings for extreme environments such as those within nuclear reactors. Here, we report an ultra-high-strength Fe–Cr–Ni silicide phase, named π-ferrosilicide, within a hardfacing Fe-based alloy (2.5 times harder than the surrounding austenite and ferrite phases). Electron diffraction tomography (EDT) has allowed the determination of the atomic structure of this phase. 

Acta Cryst. A74, 93-101 (2018)

Ab initio structure determination and quantitative disorder analysis on nanoparticles by electron diffraction tomography

Small particle size, various types of disorder and intergrown structures render the description of many structures at atomic level by standard crystallographic methods difficult. Here a proof-of-principle study, the characterization of the strongly disordered zeolite beta structure using a combination of electron exit-wave reconstruction, automated diffraction tomography (ADT), crystal disorder modelling and electron diffraction simulations is reported. The crystal structures of two intergrown Zeolite Beta polymorphs BEA and BEB were solved from a single automated diffraction tomography (ADT) data set by direct methods. The ratio for BEA/BEB = 48:52 was determined by analysis of the diffuse scattering extracted from the reconstructed intensity space based on ADT data and comparison with simulated electron diffraction data.