Rolf studied materials science and received his doctoral degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) at the (formerly) Institute of Applied Physics. Thereafter he carried out postdoctoral studies at the University of California at Davis and at the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He then joined FEI Company as an application specialist and was later in the role of a system engineer. Before returning to NCEM as a staff scientist, he spent a period of time as a faculty member at the EMAT institute (Electron Microscopy for Materials Science) of the University of Antwerp. Since 2009, Rolf has been head of Empa's Electron Microscopy Center, and since 2021 he is a titular professor at the Department of Materials, ETH Zurich.

Rolf's research interests cover various topics in electron microscopy, such as atomic resolution and low-voltage electron microscopy, in-situ electron microscopy and (valence)  electron energy-loss spectroscopy. In collaboration with various research groups, he has published articles in numerous fields ranging from atomic-scale studies of precipitates in binary alloys, valence electron energy-loss spectroscopy, interplanetary dust particles, carbon nanomaterials, semiconductor nanostructures, complex functional oxides, and in the field of aberration-corrected high-resolution electron microscopy.

Research Interests
  • Electron scattering and diffraction physics in (scanning) transmission electron microscopy
  • Aberration correction in electron microscopy and electron optics
  • Low-loss and high-resolution electron energy-loss spectroscopy
  • Low-voltage and ultra-high resolution (scanning) transmission electron microscopy
  • Functional (nano-)materials and interface phenomena
  • Nucleation processes and in-situ electron microscopy 
Professional Career

Since 2009: Head Electron Microscopy Center, Empa

Since 2022: Titular professor at ETH Zurich, Department of Materials

2013-2021: Lecturer ETH Zurich

2007-2009: Staff Scientist, National Center for Electron Microscopy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California (USA).

2006-2007: Faculty position, EMAT, Universtiy of Antwerp (Belgium).

2004-2006: System engineer and application specialist, FEI Company, Eindhoven (The Netherlands)

2003-2004: Postdoctoral researcher, University of California at Davis, and National Center for Electron Microscopy, LBNL, California (USA)

1999-2003: Doctorate, Dr. sc. nat., Institute of Applied Physics, ETH Zurich (CH)

1998/1999: Diploma thesis, Royal School of Technology (KTH), Stockholm (Sweden)

1994-1999: Studies in materials science, Dipl. Ing. ETH

Boards and Commissions of Trust

at ETH Zurich


Aberration-Corrected Imaging in Transmission Electron Microscopy

NEW: 2nd edition (2015) available here