Atomic structure of nanosystems from first-principles simulations and microscopy experiments (AS-SIMEX 2019)




Recent progress in the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as well as in scanning tunneling and atomic force microscopy (STM/AFM) made it possible to not only unravel the atomic structure of various systems with a resolution of better than 0.1 nm, but also carry out elemental analysis and determine the types of particular atoms in the sample. Moreover, based on spectroscopic in-situ techniques (for example, electron energy loss spectroscopy, EELS), the charge state and the bonding configuration of individual atoms and point defects in the material can be identified.

The unequivocal interpretation of the experimental results can considerably benefit from the juxtaposition of the images to the results of first-principles calculations. With regard to TEM, the accuracy of the measurement is now so high that in addition to the information on the atomic configuration (that is atom positions), the detailed information on the spatial distribution of the electron density and on the electron structure of the system is required. Likewise, the microscopy knowledge on the local electronic structure of the system is extremely important for the correct interpretation of the experimental STM and AFM images and spectra.

First principles simulations, and specifically density-functional theory (DFT) approaches, have provided lots of insight into the electronic structure and properties of various solids. They also considerably extended our understanding of how the STM/AFM or TEM images are formed. Besides, using DFT and time-dependent DFT molecular dynamics, one can simulate the manipulation of the nanostructures by SPM tools and the changes made to the system, e.g., production of defects under electron irradiation and their time evolution.

In this workshop we are going to bring together the TEM/STM/AFM experts and computational materials scientists to discuss the progress in TEM/ STM/AFM analysis and visualization of the atomic structure of nanosystems. The workshop will be focused on various nanostructures, and will include a wide variety of substrates from graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides to complex oxides.


Physics Boat 2019 is the sixth time we take science on a cruise. The previous event was held in 2016. The workshop consists of invited and contributed talks as well as posters. Invited and contributed speakers will cover the recent progress in simulations and the relevant experimental areas.

We also organize the Towards Reality in Nanoscale Materials workshop in Lapland in the winter.

Important dates



The workshop will take place on a board of a ferry going from Helsinki to Stockholm via Aland and back.

The workshop will start at 11:00 am on Tuesday the 28th of May, and we will work till 8 pm (with ca 1 hour break to see the departure, Helsinki archipelago and the Suomenlinna fortress). Next morning (the ferry arrives in Stockholm at 9:45 am) can be used for discussions, which can take place in Stockholm downtown (a short metro ride from the harbour where the ferry docks).

The presentations will continue again on Wednesday at about 2 pm, and they will last until 8-9 pm. After returning to Helsinki on the 30th of May, we remain on board of the ferry till 2 pm, and the presentations will continue from 9 am on till 1 pm ending with a lunch.

If you cannot arrive in Helsinki early enough on the 28th of May, we recommend that the you come on the 27th of May and spend the night in Helsinki (on your own costs).


Train from the airport

There is a direct train connection from the airport to the central railway station in downtown Helsinki. You have the option of taking either the I train (west loop, 47 min.) or the P train (east loop, 43 min.), both of which arrive at Helsinki Central Station (Rautatieasema). Tickets cost 5 euros and can be bought at the machines on the platforms (they are no longer sold on the train themselves).

Bus from the airport

You can also take the local bus 615, which costs the same but takes slightly longer to arrive at the central station. Another option is to take the Finnair Express bus to downtown, which is quicker, but slightly more expensive (6.80 euros). From downtown, you need to come to the ship terminal (Olympiaterminaali), which can be reached with tram 2 (included in train/bus ticket if tram is entered within 90 minutes from buying the ticket, but excluded if you take the Finnair Express bus). The tram trip will take about 13 minutes. Walking the same distance will take about 20 minutes.

Website to plan your trip using public transport

The easiest way to plan the trip from and to the airport is to use the journey planner (available in English). The journey planner will also provide you with maps of the journey.


Another option is to take taxi from the airport. The price will be about 50 euros, and the trip will take ~30 minutes depending on the traffic.


Abstract submission

The official registration is closed. Please contact the organizers if you would still like to participate in the workshop.


There is no workshop fee and the participants will need to pay only a part of their accommodation costs, as specified below (except for the invited speakers).

This covers accommodation in a sea-view cabin, two buffet-style dinners, two lunches and two breakfasts. The details of payment will be given later.


Aalto Aalto

Invited speakers

Several additional invited speakers will be selected based on the submitted abstracts.
A limited number of slots will be available for contributed talks and more for poster presentations.
We limit the workshop to 60 people.


The prelimenary program of the workshop is shown below. Invited talks are highlighted in bold. Abstracts to each of the talks can be found by clicking on the name of the speakers. A printed abstract book (including poster contributions) will be provided to all participants and is available for download.

Tuesday (Helsinki) Wednesday (Stockholm) Thursday (Helsinki)
                Chair: Sankaranarayanan
                9:00 - 9:40 Heine
                9:40 - 10:20 Person
10:40 - 11:10 Registration         10:20 - 10:40 Ibragimova
11:10 - 11:20 Opening         10:40 - 11:20 Coffee break
Chair: Jin         Chair: Tautz
11:20 - 12:00 Idrobo         11:20 - 12:00 Booth
12:00 - 12:40 Alem         12:00 - 12:20 Krejci
12:40 - 13:00 Markevich         12:20 - 12:40 Alldritt
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch 13:50 - 14:20 Coffee break 12:40 - 13:00 Closing
Chair: Idrobo Chair: Batzill 13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 14:40 Batzill 14:20 - 15:00 Tautz        
14:40 - 15:00 Bloodgood 15:00 - 15:20 Hall        
15:00 - 15:20 Edmonds 15:20 - 15:40 Shawulienu        
15:20 - 15:40 Popov 15:40 - 16:00 Palotas        
15:40 - 16:00 Karthikeyan                
16:00 - 18:00 Break for 16:00 - 18:00 Coffee at        
       departure        posters        
Chair: Alem Chair: Heine        
18:00 - 18:40 Greber 18:00 - 18:40 Sankaranarayanan        
18:40 - 19:20 Jin 18:40 - 19:20 Schiotz        
19:20 - 19:40 Ghorbani-Asl 19:20 - 19:40 Kvashnin        
20:00 - 21:30 Dinner 20:00 - 21:30 Dinner        

Practical Information

Some practical details related to the boat workshop are given below.

  1. We meet on Tuesday 28.05 at 10:40 a.m. in the Olympia terminal, Olympiaranta 1, located in downtown Helsinki. Put simply this address in google map for directions. It takes about 20 min to walk from the central railway station to the terminal. You can also take tram 2 from the central railway station. The tram stop is just in front of the station. If the railway station is behind you, you should take the tram going to the left.
  2. The organizers will be in the terminal main lobby (near the group check-in counter). Normally there are relatively few people at that time in the lobby, so it should not be a problem to spot us. We will give you your tickets/key cards, along with your badge and abstract book.
  3. You need a passport or EU identity card to enter the ship.
  4. If you come after 11:00, we leave your key card at the group check-in. You can get it by giving in your name.
  5. Most likely, the cabins will not be ready when we arrive, so that we will go directly to the conference facilities (the very front of the ship, the entrance is one floor down from the Promenade). There is enough room for luggage there.
  6. The presentations start at 11:10, while the boat departures at 5 p.m. This means that the accompanying persons can come later than 11:00 (or have lunch, then leave) and explore Helsinki for a couple of hours more, then come back. Everyone should be back to the boat at least 30 mins before departure.
  7. Presentations should be prepared in Powerpoint, OpenOffice, Keynote or PDF. We will have a "general" presentation computer, but surely you can use your own laptop. If you use the presentation computer, all presentations and movie files must be downloaded to the presentation computer before the session starts.
  8. The posters will be in the same room. Blue tack and scotch tape will be provided.
  9. There is a free WLAN from Silja in the conference facilities, although after the boat leaves the harbour, it may be quite slow. Of course also 4G/3G Internet will work, there is mobile network during almost all of the trip (except for the crossing from Aland to Sweden).
  10. We arrive in Stockholm at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, and the presentations start at 2:20 p.m. You can stay onboard or visit Stockholm during the first part of the day.
  11. Note that Swedish time is DIFFERENT from Finnish by 1 hour (9 a.m. in Finland is 8 a.m. in Stockholm). We stick to Finnish time on Tue and Thu, and to Swedish time on Wed. This means that you will have an extra hour to sleep the night of Tue/Wed, and one hour less the night of Wed/Thu, so please plan your evening/morning program accordingly.
  12. We arrive in Helsinki at 10:30 a.m. and stay onboard until 2:00 p.m.
  13. It takes about 1 hour to get to the airport from the ferry terminal.


The workshop is organized by the Department of Applied Physics in Aalto University. If you would like to get in touch with the organizers, please send an email to

Dr. Arkady Krasheninnikov
Dr. Hannu-Pekka Komsa
Department of Applied Physics
Aalto University
P.O.Box 11100
FI-00076 Aalto, Finland
Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Bautzner Landstraße 400
01328 Dresden, Germany


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