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

7 to 10 November, 2022

ETH Zürich, Hönggerberg

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

The large body of material characterization techniques uses radiation as a tool. The laboratory instruments and the large-scale facilities such as a synchrotron 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. Details TBA.


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.-


Fundamentals of TEM/STEM imaging

Analytical Electron Microscopy (EELS and EFTEM)

Electron Diffraction in TEM

Microstructure and Phase Analyses in TEM

TEM Image Simulations 

In-situ EM

Analytical SEM (EDX and EBSD)

Focused Ion Beam Fundamentals and Applications

Introduction to Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry

Atom Probe Tomography

XRD in Material Science

Raman Spectroscopy as Characterization of Semi-conductor Materials

Analytical Optical Spectroscopy & Microscopy

Fundamentals of Atomic Force Microscopy

Instrument Visits – Details TBC

The course will include visits to eight instruments. Information on the various instrument visits is available below:

Station 1 X-ray diffraction

Station 2 Scanning Electron Microscopy

Station 3 Focused Ion Beam

Station 4 Raman

Station 5 Atom Probe

Station 6 In-situ EM/ Scanning TEM

Station 7 CTEM and analytical STEM

Station 8 High-resolution TEM simulations

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 32.

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
Phone: +41 21 693 46 56