Future technology is clearly thin film technology. (Ceramic) materials with interesting properties (superconductors, CMR, ionic conductors, optical transparent materials) may behave differently when deposited on a substrate.
These thin films can be analysed at “large scale”, where a micron thick superconducting YBCO material has been grown on a stainless steel support through several buffer layers.
Or they can be analysed down to atomic scale as in the second example, where a multilayer of (La-Ca)MnO3 and BaTiO3 are grown periodically on a SrTiO3 substrate. Apart from imaging also the chemical composition can be mapped and eventual chemical mixing can be readily detected (S. Turner et al. Physical Review B, 87, 35418 - 8, 2013).
On these topics EMAT has two running EC projects (7th framework): IFOX (2010-2014), on the importance of interfaces in thin ceramic films and EUROTAPES (2012-2016), a project on industrial production of superconducting tapes.