Function: Directeur de Recherches CNRS
Field: Chemistry of Materials, Nanomaterials & Processes Expertise: Transmission Electron Microscopy

Emailthierry.epicier [at]



Address: IRCELYON, umr5256 CNRS 

Université Claude Bernard Lyon I (University of Lyon)
Bât. Prettre, 2 Ave A. Einstien, F-69626 Villeurbanne Cedex

Phone: office: +33 (0)4 72 44 54 02; cellular: +33 (0)6 87 88 30 69




Note: this page is no more properly updated; please visit

Profile (more detailed CV in French here)


I got my PhD in 1982 at the INSA / Université Lyon I / ECL research and high education pole in 1982, and a Doctorate es Sciences degree (french Thèse d'État number 88/SAL/0038) in 1988, on the study of ordering phenomena and dislocations in metallic carbides.

From 2003 to 2010, I funded the research group Nano- and Microstructures (SNMS) of the MATEIS unit, a CNRS-associated lab. at INSA Lyon dealing with physical and multi-functional properties of all classes of materials, which I joined after a post-doctoral stay at the NCEM, Lawrence Berkeley Lab. in 1988-1989. This group of 5 to 7 permanents researchers and teachers is still currently in charge of the Electron Microscopy units of the MATEIS lab., and is deeply implicated in those of the CLYM structure.

I was Director of the CLYM research Federation (Consortium Lyon - St-Etienne de Microscopie, housing 8 microscopy units shared between 13 public partners) from 2007 to end of 2015 (Download CLYM AERES/HCERES activity reports here: AERES 2011, HCERES 2014). From 2009 to 2014, I have been runing HR(S)TEM studies of nanomaterials and nanoparticles at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, in collaboration with prof. Toyohiko Konno at IMR, in the frame of the ELyT-lab project (University of Lyon - Tohoku University).

As the former Director of CLYM, I have been a member of the platforms committee of the French network METSA which links eight platforms in France (Tranmission Electron Microscopy and Atom Probe network), among which CLYM in Lyon. I was the Director of this CNRS Research Federation (METSA FR3507, created in 2012) from 2012 to end of 2015 and is Deputy-Director up to end 2020.

In 2016, I have had the honour to chair the XVIth European Microscopy Congress (EMC2016) held in Lyon from August 28 to September 2 and organized under the auspices of the European Microscopy Society EMS and the French Society of Microscopies SFµ (web site still active: 


In April 2020, I joined the Institute of Research on Catalysis and Environment in Lyon, IRCELYON to develop methodological approaches in environmental electron microscopy applied to nanocatalysts.

Research Interest: Microstructures and Nanostructures of Materials

I am involved in Transmission Electron Microscopy since more than 20 years and have a general experience in Electron Microscopy, as attested by the various domains covered by its scientific production:

  • Conventional TEM applied to dislocations analysis and plasticity elementary mechanisms
  • Study of long-range order phenomena
  • High Resolution imaging (grain-boundary structures in ceramics, nano-particles, precipitation in alloys, image simulation and development of computer programs)
  • Analytical TEM: EDX and EELS for quantitative elemental analysis (carbon and or nitrogen in sub-stoichiometric metallic carbo-nitrides) or valence and chemical bond analysis (ELNES, FEFF simulations, anisotropic effects - trichroïsm -)
  • High Angle Annular Dark Field imaging (conventional and at atomic resolution), Cs-corrected HREM (and HAADF), electron tomography
  • SEM (STEM mode, tomography), FIB and 3D ‘slice-and-view’ imaging or EBSD analysis
  • Environmental TEM (since 2013); see illustrations here

All these studies were declined to different classes of materials: metallic alloys (including steels), ceramics, nano-particles (core-shell structures, bi-metallic phases for magnetic applications, hybrid nano-materials, nanowires, catalysts), polymers and various kinds of heterogeneous and composite materials.

Since my arrival in IRCELYON, my research is more focussed on Environmental TEM to study the evolution of nanocatalysts during in situ conditions approaching operando working conditions. One specific activity concerns a combined Deep Learning and Multiple Objects Tracking approach to quantify the dynamical evolution of a whole population of nanoparticles (NP) during in situ ETEM experiments in the context of heterogeneous catalysis. An optmised Unet neural network is trained on dedicated STEM simulations and NP trajectories are reconstructed according to a continuous energy based routine (see example below mimicking PdO NPs on a delta-alumina support during in situ calcination under oxygen; still going trajectories are un blue while previously stopped ones are in red. The green marks indicate fusion events. Project MATEIS/IRCELYON, LaHC and CREATIS).

A more recent activity concerns the study of condensation of water starting from wet atmospheres produced in ETEM by the injection of a few mbars of water vapor: further cooling of the specimen allows to achieve thermodynamical conditions suitable for either condensation or evaporation of water. This work has first been performed to study the deliquescence and dissolution of NaCl nanaocubes directly in the microscope, with the perspective to extend these experiments to the study of atmospheric aerosols for a better understanding of the clouds formation (linked to the global warming problem). ANR project 'WATEM' n°20-CE42-0008.


Some PDFs of seminars or congress contributions (updated 2021)


Other Responsabilities
I was the General Physics Secretary of the French Microscopy Society SFµ in 2010 and 2011 and presented the BID for organizing the next European Microscopy Conference in France, under the auspices of the SFµ, the European Society (EMS) and the word body IFSM. As such, I was the chairman of EMC2016 in Lyon (France), and I have been a member of the EMS board from 2012 to 2020.

I have been involved in several National or International Research programs, (e.g. International collaborations with Japan, Belgium, Spain, Ukraine, England, Italy, China, USA, Canada among others). I am also regularly involved in industrial cooperative programs with local and national French industries. I was the coordinator of the ANR contract "CONTRAPRECI" (ANR-06-BLAN-0205) and of the collaborative project 3DCLEAN (15-CE09-0009-01).

Science for the public
A recent initiative has been to participate to a Pop'Sciences festival organised at Lyon in May 2019. A modest software has been developed to illustrate the evolution of Transmission Electron Microscopy from the beginnings to present (might be device dependant for a correct display).

 Free download here   





Teaching / Programming

. Participant to CNRS formations in Transmission Electron Microscopy (Villeurbanne) and Electron Tomography (Strasbourg). 

Diffraction-Workshop software: freeware to index TEM 'dots' or 'ring' diffraction patterns - plus some minor options... -): downoad here




Publications (updated 2022/08)

Full publication list: download here. Also check Google Scholar or some selected representative works below.

I have published 146 referred papers, 8 Book chapters, more than 130 Proceedings of Conferences and have attended with about 330 contributions more than 150 National and International Congresses or Workshops (with 68 invited talks as speaker and 23 additional ones as co-authors, among which 57 in international Conferences and/or Schools). I have supervised directly 18 PhD students and 17 post-docs. 


  • K. FARAZ, T. GRENIER, C. DUCOTTET, T. EPICIER, Deep learning detection of nanoparticles and multiple object tracking of their dynamic evolution during in situ ETEM studies. Scientific Reports, (2022) 12:2484. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-06308-2
  • H. YUAN, B. VAN DE MOORTELE, T. EPICIER, Accurate post-mortem alignment for Focused Ion Beam and Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM) tomography. Ultramicroscopy 228, 113265. DOI: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2021.113265.
  • E.J. FRANKBERG, J. KALIKKA, F. GARCÍA FERRÉ, L. JOLY-POTTUZ, T. SALMINEN, J. HINTIKKA, M. HOKKA, S. KONETI, T. DOUILLARD, B. LE SAINT, P. KREIML, M.J. CORDILL, T. EPICIER, D. STAUFFER, M. VANAZZI, L. ROIBAN, J. AKOLA, F. DI FONZO, E. LEVÄNEN, K. MASENELLI-VARLOT, Highly ductile amorphous oxide at room temperature and high strain rate, Science366, 6467 (2019) 864-869. DOI: 10.1126/science.aav1254.
  • T. EPICIER, S. KONETI, P.AVENIER, A. CABIAC, A-S. GAY, L. ROIBAN, 2D & 3D in situ study of the calcination of Pd nanocatalysts supported on delta-Alumina in an Environmental Transmission Electron Microscope, Catalysis Today, 334, 15 (2019), 68-78. DOI: 10.1016/j.cattod.2019.01.061.
  • H. BANJAK, T. GRENIER, T. EPICIER, S. KONETI, L. ROIBAN, A-S. GAY, I. MAGNIN, F. PEYRIN, V. MAXIM, Evaluation of noise and blur effects with SIRT-FISTA-TV reconstruction algorithm: Application to fast environmental transmission electron tomography, Ultramicroscopy189, (2018), 109-123 ; DOI: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2018.03.022.
  • A.M. GÄNZLER, M. CASAPU, P. VERNOUX, S. LORIDANT, F.J. CADETE SANTOS AIRES, T. EPICIER, B. BETZ, R. HOYER, J-D. GRUNWALDT, Tuning the structure of Pt particles on ceria in situ for enhancing the catalytic performance of exhaust gas catalysts, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 56, 42, (2017), 13078-13082, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201707842.
  • M. AOUINE, T. EPICIER, J.M. MILLET, In Situ Environmental STEM Study of the MoVTe Oxide M1 Phase Catalysts for Ethane Oxidative Dehydrogenation, ACS Catal. 6 (2016) 4775-4781; DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.6b01114.
  • F. TOURNUS, K. SATO, T. EPICIER, T. J. KONNO, V. DUPUIS, Multi-L10 domain CoPt and FePt nanoparticles revealed by electron microscopy, PRL 110, 055501 (2013), DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.055501.
  • T. EPICIER, G. BOULON, W. ZHAO, M. GUZIK, B. JIANG, A. IKESUE, L. ESPOSITO, Spatial distribution of the Yb3+ rare earth ions in Y3Al5O12 and Y2O3 optical ceramics as analyzed by TEM, J. of Materials Chemistry, 22 (2012), 18221, DOI: 10.1039/C2JM32995F.