The BIAMS conference series was inaugurated in 1988 in Paris and followed by conferences in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Russia. BIAMS 2010, held in Halle (Germany) from July 4 to 8, 2010, is the direct follower of the conferences of 2006 held in St. Petersburg (Russia) and 2008 in Toledo (Spain). The organizers of the Halle meeting were the Max-Planck-Institut für Mikrostrukturphysik Halle and the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.

The 2010 meeting put main emphasis on principal experimental and theoretical aspects of the assessment of defects and nano- and microstructures in semiconductors by beam injection and related methods. The workshop was a forum for interaction between physicists, materials scientists and technologists working in this field. The following main topics were covered: electron beam and optical characterization methods, scanning probe microscopy, and ion beam techniques. The application of these techniques were related to point and extended defects in semiconductors, to heterostructures, quantum wells, interfaces, and nanowires. A special topic was the investigation of photovoltaic materials and devices.

This issue of physica status solidi contains papers presented as invited talks and oral or poster contributions at BIAMS 2010 in Halle. We would like to thank all participants for their contributions.

The meeting was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and many companies from the solar business (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)