Center for Electron Microscopy (ZELMI)

ZELMI - Center of electron microscopy

The ZELMI as a central analysis facility exists since January 1, 1978 !

On April 7, 1931, Ernst Ruska was able to demonstrate two-stage magnified imaging with electron lenses for the first time at the TH Berlin, the predecessor of the TU Berlin. (Source ISSN 0001-5857).

For the invention of the electron microscope, Ernst Ruska received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986, together with Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohre (inventor of the scanning tunneling microscope).

What service is available?

ZELMI's service ranges from advice on microscopic examinations to evaluation and reporting of results.

The instrument-specific preparation is performed on site.

For general preparation of samples, we can assist customers who do not have preparation facilities themselves.

In addition, ZELMI also offers teaching as a service, consisting of lectures, practical sessions and hands-on training.

Furthermore, equipment is available on which service users can work independently after an introduction. Regular use is the prerequisite here.



For whom are we here?

The ZELMI is primarily for the research of the Technical University to constantly.

Since 2016, ZELMI has been a business enterprise of a commercial nature (BGA) and, depending on capacity, can also serve corporate customers or other clients.


The Central Facility for Electron Microscopy was established at the TU-Berlin in 1978.

The purpose was quickly recognized: Expensive equipment was centralized for the use of all TU members, and maintenance and operation was contracted out to permanent staff.

The head of ZELMI from 1978 to 2003 was Dr. Heinrich Helfmeier (+ 2014).

Since 2004, Dr. Dirk Berger has been the head of ZELMI.

In 2003, the ZELMI was evaluated by external reviewers who attested that the team was highly motivated and competent. In addition, the TU-Berlin was awarded the necessity of ZELMI for basic care.

Since 2010, ZELMI has 2 locations in the TU-Berlin (KWT-Altbau and TEM-Building).

In 2018, ZELMI was able to celebrate its 40th anniversary.