There is a growing awareness that the successful implementation of novel material systems and technology steps in the fabrication of microelectronic and optoelectronic devices, is critically dependent on the understanding and control of the materials, the process steps and their interactions. The contributions in this volume demonstrate that characterisation and analysis techniques are an essential support mechanism for research in these fields. Current major research themes are reviewed both in the development and application of diagnostic techniques for advanced materials analysis and fabrication process control. Two distinct trends are elucidated: the emergence and evaluation of sophisticated in situ optical diagnostic techniques such as photoreflectance and spectroellipsometry and the industrial application of ultra-high sensitivity chemical analysis techniques for contamination monitoring. The volume will serve as a useful and timely overview of this increasingly important field.