We investigate the atomic scale properties of surfaces, interfaces and nanostructured materials from ultra-high vaccum to technologically and environmentally relevant conditions such as atmospheric gas pressures, elevated temperatures or electro-magnetic fields. We employ in-situ x-ray diffraction and spectroscopy schemes making use of the exceptional properties of advanced x-ray sources. Our experimental campaigns at large scale facilities are complemented by in-house experiments using state-of-the art scanning probe microscopy, spectroscopy and nanofabrication instruments. The following research topics are currently under investigation: