2022 CCMX – ScopeM Course: Advanced Characterization of Materials at the Micro-, Nano and Atomic Scale

7 to 10 November, 2022

Registration deadline 24 October. Please note that a maximum of 24 students can be admitted.

ETH Zürich, Hönggerberg

Material Characterization is an indispensable part of any technological development and any research. The fabrication of new materials, the optimization of existing solutions to specific purposes, analyses of material failure, etc. – all rely on establishing and understanding the intrinsic interconnection between the material build-up and its performance.

The large body of material characterization techniques uses radiation as a tool. Laboratory instruments and large-scale facilities such as synchrotrons employ electrons, neutrons, x-rays or ions to irradiate a specimen and analyze the outcome. Elastic and inelastic interactions of radiation and the matter result in scattering of primary radiation or generation of secondary signals. The resolute detection and understanding of the nature of events are fundamental for the instrumentation, the usage and, most importantly, for data interpretation.

The main goal of this course is, therefore, to present the bulk of the information on radiation-based techniques regularly employed for material characterization in physics, material science and technology. The course is composed of lectures and demonstrations on the instruments given by  experts in the field. Electron microscopy in all its richness of methods (TEM, STEM, SEM, in-situ-TEM, cryo-TEM, etc.), Auger Spectroscopy, X-ray and Raman scattering, Optical Spectroscopy and Microscopy, Mass-Spectroscopy and Atom Probe Tomography, Secondary Ion Mass-Spectrometry – are  techniques presented at the course.

The fundamentals, workflow, limitations, and advantages of each technique over a possible alternative are supported by extensive information on the specimen preparation routines that ensure the reliability of a corresponding data set. The complexity of data evaluation routes, the available solutions and open-source algorithms are presented in the lectures and demonstrated during the instrumental visits.

Advanced, most up-to-date experimental developments in each field are presented and discussed during the course. The lecturers and the instrument visit scientists are open to discussions on your specific scientific questions and welcome you to contact them also after the course with your scientific needs.


ETHZ Hönggerberg


Registration is available through this link.

Please note that payment is now required upon registration using the PayOnLine platform, which accepts major credit cards, PayPal and Twint. Course fees being paid directly by an EPFL laboratory may be paid by account transfer – please contact Carey Sargent if you are an EPFL student and prefer this method of payment.

Tuition, lunches and coffee breaks are included in the fees.

PhD students from EPFL, ETH Zurich, PSI, Empa and CSEM: CHF 480.-

PhD students from other institutions and other academic participants: CHF 780.-

All other participants: CHF 2,000.-


Monday Electrons Speakers
08:30 – 09:00 Welcome + self-introduction by participants 

Nicolas Blanc / Carey Sargent (ETHZ/ EPFL)

09:00 – 09:45 Fundamentals of TEM/STEM imaging  Rolf Erni (Empa)
09:45 – 10:30 Analytical electron microscopy (EELS and EFTEM) Duncan Alexander (EPFL)
10:45 – 11:30 Electron Diffraction in TEM Fabian Gramm (ETHZ)
11:30 – 12:15 Microstructure and Phase Analyses in TEM Alla Sologubenko (ETHZ)
13:30 – 14:15 Advanced Electron Microscopy Alan Maigné (ETHZ)
14:30 – 16:00 Instruments Visits   
16:15 – 17:45 Instruments Visits   
Tuesday Electrons, Ions, Photons Speakers
08:30 – 09:15  Cyro Electron Microscopy Bilal Qureshi (ETHZ)
09:15-10:00 TEM Image Simulations Robin Schäublin (ETHZ)
10:15 – 11:00 Analytical SEM (EDX and EBSD) Karsten Kunze (ETHZ)
11:00 – 11:45 Focused Ion Beam (FIB). Fundamentals and applications. Joakim Reuteler (ETHZ)
13:30 – 14:15 Atom Probe Tomography Stephan Gerstl (ETHZ)
14.14 – 15:00 Analytical Optical Spectroscopy & Microscopy  Renato Zenobi (ETHZ)
15:30 – 17:00 Instruments Visits   
17:15 – 18:00 Instruments Visits   
Wednesday Ions, Photons Speakers
09:00 – 09:45 Introduction to Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) Max Doebeli (ETHZ)
09:45 – 10:30 Raman Instrument and applications  Sung Sik Lee (ETHZ)
10:45 – 11:30 X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) in Material Science Thomas Weber (ETHZ)
11:30 – 12:30 Questions & Answers All lecturers
13:30 – 15:00 Instrument visits  
15.15 – 16:45  Instruments Visits   
Thursday Round-up, exam  
9:00 – 10:30  Instruments Visits  
10:45 – 12:15 Instruments Visits   
13:30 – 14:00 Concluding remarks and goodbye   
14:00 – 15:00 Written exam /ECTS credits  


Instrument Visits

The course includes visits to eight instruments linked to the following techniques: Raman; CTEM/ EDS STEM; XRD; FIBSEM; Analytical SEM; Atom probe; Cyro EM; HR(S)TEM/ EELS.

Who should attend

The course target audience is PhD and Master students, industrial and academic researchers.

The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 24.

This course may be validated for 2 ECTS credits in the doctoral program of EPFL and ETH Zurich after acceptance by the corresponding institution. In this case, full attendance and a final examination after the end of the course on the final day is required. Please contact Carey Sargent for details.


Travel and accommodation should be reserved and paid for by the participants.

Contact Information

Carey Sargent