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Mauro Gemmi

Technologist - Principal Investigator - Center Coordinator
Center Director

Research Line

Electron Crystallography




Center for Nanotechnology Innovation@NESTPiazza S. Silvestro 12
+39 050 509032
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Mauro Gemmi is  a physicist with a wide expertise in trasmission electron microscopy. He is a pioneer in the use of precession electron diffraction for solving crystal structures,  and he is internationally know as one of maximum expert in electron crystallography.

15/06/1995 Degree in Physics (Italian Laurea) at University of Bologna Italy Grade obtained: 110 / 110 cum laude
20/03/2000 PhD in Physics (Physics Department University of Bologna). Thesis on “Crystal structure analysis by electron diffraction: strategies and application”. Supervisors: Prof. Giulio Pozzi & Prof. Gianluca Calestani.

January 2001 - December 2001 He joined as Post Doc the Structural Chemistry Department University of Stockholm, Sweden, where he developed new electron crystallography methods under the supervision of Prof. Sven Hovmöller and Prof. Xiaodong Zou.
January 2001 - August 2010. He has been responsible for the TEM lab of the Earth Science Department of Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy. There he has been working on solid solution properties of minerals under non ambient conditions (HT, HP) and he developed new methods for solving structures with electron diffraction data.
April-July 2008 He has been Invited Scientist at CNRS-Institut Néel, Grenoble, France, developing methods for solving structure using the new precession electron diffraction technique.
From September 2010  to August 2014 he had a Post Doc Senior contract at the Center for Nanotechnology Innovation@NEST, Pisa, Italy, as TEM specialist responsible for the TEM Lab activity.
From September 2014 He is Technologist in charged of the TEM lab at the Center for Nanotechnology Innovation, Pisa, Italy.

From August 2015 He is the Coordinantor of the Center for Nanotechnology Innovation, Pisa, Italy.

Since August 2015 he is Chair of the SIG4 on Electron Crystallography of the European Crystallography Association

He is member of the Italian Crystallography Association  (AIC), the European Crystallography Association (ECA) and the Mineralogical Society of America (MSA).  

Reserach interest

New electron diffraction methods for solving crystal structures.

Crystal structure determination in high pressure experiments.

Solving the crystal structure of organic crystal and proteins with automatic low dose electron diffraction tomography methods

PDF in electron diffraction

Nanotextureing analysis with electron diffraction data

New bio-Tem methods.







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I am coordinator of the NanED (Electron Nanocrystallography) H2020 project, an EU Innovative Training Network of MSCA (Grant agreement n. 956099). 

NanED includes all European scientists hitherto active in the development of electron diffraction methods for structural crystallography and a pool of large and small companies interested in instruments development and materials or pharmaceuticals production and analysis. Nine different countries are represented: Italy, Czech Republic, France, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and United Kingdom. 

NanED 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.


Electron Crystallography

The term electron crystallography joins all the crystallographic studies carried out using electrons as a probe either in diffraction or in imaging. I am leading the TEM lab at CNI@NEST where we have configured the ZEISS Libra 120 transmission electron microscope as an electron diffraction station for electron crystallography studies. We have the objective to be able to characterize in our electron crystallography facility any kind of crystalline material going from minerals to proteins passing through inorganic artificial compounds, drugs and organic nanocrystals. The technique we are developing is based on precession assisted electron diffraction tomography combined with fast automatic data collection procedures and a direct electron detector, in order to grasp structural crystallographic information in ‘extreme’ crystallographic problems such as ordered nanodomains, nanocrystalline proteins, multiphase high pressure synthesis.

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 3D reconstruction of the reciprocal space of high pressure silicate by means of electron diffraction tomography.

Correlative Micro-CT and  TEM imaging.

I am leading a project based on developing  a new correlation method between X-Ray tomography (Micro-CT, in collaboration with SYRMEP beamline at Elettra - Sincrotrone Trieste) and transmission electron microscopy. The aim of the project is to obtain a global 3D view of a whole organ or tissue with the intrinsic resolution of few microns characteristic of Micro-CT, in which it possible to identify specific regions of interest for TEM ultrastructure characterization. The sample can then be cut with the ultramicrotome just across the identified region of interest for obtaining a this section suitable for TEM imaging.


                                    Figura2 originale       2 1

(Left) 3D micro computed x-ray tomography of a portion of mouse sciatic nerve, affected by Krabbe disease, in which it is possible to identify an immune infiltrating cell. (Right) TEM bright field image of a mouse sciatic nerve’s myelinated axon.



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