ELDICO’s scientific ranks get a boost

Electron diffraction has still many more chapters to be written. The technique gets more and more attention with time – and for obvious reasons. It offers unprecedented nano-analytical possibilities for samples that are usually deemed as problematic in industries that need improved ways of research in terms of speed, cost and reliability.

Not only do we believe at ELDICO that electron crystallography (or diffraction) is here to stay, but we are seeing first hand its transformation into a high-throughput research technique of the future. That is why we are excited to welcome 3 new collaborators: an esteemed new scientific advisor and two new crystallographers to tackle measurements on ELDICO ED-1, the electron diffractometer.image-jpg

Hongyi Xu: the next true pioneer of electron diffraction joins Scientific Advisory Board

After completing a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronics) degree at the University of Queensland, Hongyi went on to pursue a PhD degree in materials engineering, specialized in electron microscopy and semiconductor nano-materials. The Australian Government sponsored his PhD study through the Australian Postgraduate Award program. He obtained his PhD degree  at UQ in Dec 2013 and received the Dean’s accommodation for academic excellence as well as the best thesis of the year award from the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering. In Feb. 2014, Hongyi started his postdoc fellowship (Wenner-Gren Foundation postdoc award) in Prof. Xiaodong Zou’s group at Stockholm University. In 2015, he initiated the development of MicroED (3D electron diffraction technique for studying biomolecules) at Zou’s group. Hongyi became a principal investigator in 2018 to further develop and apply electron crystallography methods for studying structures of biomolecules. 

Latest publication (and made it to the cover): Indomethacin Polymorph δ Revealed To Be Two Plastically Bendable Crystal Forms by 3D Electron Diffraction: Correcting a 47-Year-Old Misunderstanding (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 7/2022)

Basel team

Measurements satellite team in Basel takes shape

Johannes and Christian, two bright young but already very experienced crystallographers joined our team and will service the Electron Diffraction Experience Center in Basel, where our first unit, ELDICO ED-1 is up and running.

Dr Johannes Merkelbach is a crystallographer trained at the University of Düsseldorf. Sporting a master’s degree in Business Chemistry and following up his education with a PhD in structural peculiarities of main group metal arene complexes, he is well-suited to tackle the challenges of his new role as Manager of Measurement Operations at ELDICO. He will be the much-needed business-science liaison, able to offer solutions for our growing customer base in regard to ELDICO’s measurements service in the most optimal way, as he admits:

‘I feel lucky to be at the forefront of innovation with this new position, as the research possibilities of electron diffraction really amaze me. I am looking forward not only to solve structures, but also problems. With the enhanced possibilities electron diffraction offers, I am confident many of these problems that were unsolvable before can get a solution.’

Dr Christian Jandl joins us from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), where he completed his PhD and worked as a postdoc in the fields of organometallic chemistry, computational chemistry and crystallography. Having already contributed to over 70 scientific publications in his career, he is well prepared to deal with all kinds of crystallographic challenges our numerous clients from a broad variety of industries may need solutions for. The Application Scientist says:

“Electron diffraction will bring crystallography and structure determination in general to a whole new level. And I am happy to be part of this great evolution in nano-analytics shaped together with the team at ELDICO.”

Johannes and Christian will work together and push our Measurement-as-a-Service operations forward, opening up experimental electron diffraction possibilities for even more interested customers than before.

We warmly welcome Hongyi, Johannes and Christian and are excited about writing the next chapters of the development of electron crystallography together.


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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. www.eldico-scientific.com