X-ray Photoemission Electron Microscopy (X-PEEM) is a full-field imaging technique where the sample is illuminated by an x-ray beam and the photoemitted electrons are imaged on a screen by means of an electron optics. It therefore combines two well-established materials analysis techniques - photoemission electron microscopy (PEEM) and x-ray spectroscopy such as near edge x-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy. This combination opens a wide field of new applications in materials research and has proven to be a powerful tool to investigate simultaneously topological, elemental, chemical state, and magnetic properties of surfaces, thin films, and multilayers at high spatial resolution. A new X-PEEM installed at the bend magnet beamline 188.8.131.52 at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) is designed for a spatial resolution of 20 nm and is currently under commissioning. An overview of the ongoing experimental program using X-PEEM in the field of materials research at the ALS is given by elemental and chemical bonding contrast imaging of hard disk coatings and sliders, field emission studies on diamond films as possible candidates for field-emission flat-panel displays, and the study of dewetting and decomposition phenomena of thin polymer blends and bilayers.