From proof-of-concept to a market-ready product: ELDICO ED-1

Paracetamol was the beginning of ELDICO’s story. With SCIENCE’s “Scientific Breakthrough of the Year 2018” nomination and Tim Gruene’s paper (to which our founders contributed) describing the first of its kind experiment on precisely this compound, the journey of our company started. 

We are excited to announce that paracetamol made it home at last: one such sample, among a variety of other organics, indeed, was recently successfully measured on our device, ELDICO ED-1, surpassing previously communicated results in literature. This advance is by far not the final, but a more than significant step in developing the first dedicated electron diffractometer - only to make room for even more exciting phases for our company and scientific community.


Seeing the unseen on a dedicated device was thrilling: with a horizontal design and a user-friendly sample positioning mechanism, ELDICO ED-1 turns out to be very intuitive to operate. Not only the process is improved, but the results of our experiments on organic samples also speak for themselves:

Superior data quality on nanosized crystals of organic samples, revealing superior data quality with respect to literature reports (e.g. lower Rint, R1, or wR2 value).

Reliable performance in continuous rotation and thus rapid collection of diffraction data over an extended angular range of 140° achieving high data completeness up to a resolution of 0.8 Å [Figure 1].

Figure 1 With the ELDICO ED -1  diffraction data can be collected on a wide portion of the reciprocal space in a single run, in less than 1 minute.

Superior geometrical accuracy and precision in the unit cell determination and and thus bond lengths and angles with respect to state of the art for ED (maximum angular 0.34 ° deviation from expected unit cell angles: deviations of even 1° are commonly encountered in the indexing of ED patterns).

Effortless ab-initio structure solution with direct methods and refinement of the structure free of restraints on non-hydrogen atoms [Figure 2].


Figure 2 Two examples of organic structures solved from nanometric crystals with the ELDICO ED-1.

The OH hydrogen atom for paracetamol was experimentally located from the difference Fourier map [Figure 3].

Figure 3 A maximum peak (Q peak) was found in the difference-Fourier map in correspondence to the position of the phenolic hydrogen atom.

For more information on our results, please request here our experimental report or alternatively book a meeting with our experts here.


ELDICO ED-1 is optimized for diffraction experiments. With a stable goniometer for precise nano-rotation, the device proves to be easy-to-use (in both hardware and software aspects). Other features that make the device the instrument of choice for electron diffraction experiments are: low dose for beam-sensitive materials; octagon for custom attachments, e.g. in situ studies, hybrid pixel detector (HPD) for fast acquisition of data.

ELDICO ED-1 has already been featured in the latest round-up paper describing the latest developments for electron diffraction by Tim Gruene  and Enrico Mugnaioli:

‘The instrument by ELDICO is an entirely new design, much more akin to an X-ray diffractometer. The Swiss Innovation Park Basel Area also expects a dedicated electron diffractometer during 2021 (priv. commun. Dr. G. Santiso-Quinones, ELDICO Scientific)’ 

That is correct: soon enough the users will be able to see the first unit installed in the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area and try the device. Until then, we are happy to receive your questions, or if interested in a quote for either a measurement, leasing option or system purchase, don’t hesitate to do so here

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ELDICO Scientific AG (The Electron Diffraction Company) is a Swiss technology and service company founded in 2019 and based in the Switzerland Innovation Park Innovaare at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), a world-leading research institute for natural sciences and engineering. ELDICO develops, manufactures and commercializes electron diffractometers , i.e. novel analytical instruments for electron based crystallography, enabling to investigate nano-crystalline samples. ELDICO will launch the first instrument specifically designed for nano-crystallographic investigations. Proof-of-concept was achieved in 2018 (ETH Zurich, C-CINA Basel) as part of a Nano-Argovia project of the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI). It was published in 2018 and awarded Top 5 "Breakthrough of the Year 2018" by the leading science magazine SCIENCE. In 2020 among other public recognitions on Swiss and EU level, ELDICO took 2nd place in the prestigious Pioneer Prize awarded by Technopark Zurich and the Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB). ELDICO’s clients are industrial and academic researchers in large and fast growing industries such as the pharmaceutical industry, the electromobility, and the advanced materials / MOF sector. The company partners with leading engineering companies and component suppliers among Dectris, Excillum and SmarAct to deliver superior performance.