2019 Advanced Course: Introduction to scanning electron microscopy microanalysis techniques

Wednesday, 11 December to Friday, 13 December 2019, Empa Thun


Modern Scanning Electron Microscopes, when combined with focused ion beams (Dual beam FIBs), provide a larger number of multi-modal imaging and different analytical methods. The course format consists of introductory lectures, lectures on advanced techniques and practical work. This course may be validated for 1 ECTS credit in the doctoral programs of EPFL and ETH Zurich, after acceptance by the corresponding institution. In this case, students will need to attend every lecture and pass a final written examination.


  • Basics of the scanning electron microscopy and focused ion beam instruments (construction principles, signals, interaction with the sample)
  • Advanced imaging modes: STEM, low tension microscopy, high vacuum, ion channeling
  • Advanced microstructure investigation with EBSD and transmission EBSD orientation mapping (EBSD strain and stress analyses with cross correlation technique)
  • Chemical analyses with EDS, WDS and μ-XRF
  • Chemical depth profile with FIB-TOF-SIMS
  • Raman spectrometry for phase and strain/stress analyses

The techniques will be explored in small groups on real samples in front of SEMs. The full timetable is available here.


This course is open to participants with a basic background in materials science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, micro-technology or physics. It is taught in English and is limited to a maximum of 16 participants.

Please click here to register on-line for this course. Please note that registration can only be carried out via this CCMX registration form. The deadline for registration is Friday, 29 November, 2019.


Empa, Thun


Dr. Xavier Maeder

Dr. Johann Michler

Participation Fees

The fee for the course is CHF360 for doctoral students from EPFL, ETHZ, PSI, Empa and CSEM and CHF460 for doctoral students from other academic institutions and other academic researchers. The registration fee for all other participants is CHF1500. The fee includes lunches and coffee breaks. Additional VAT and a bank transfer fee for payments coming from outside of Switzerland may apply. 


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

Lecturer Biographies

Xavier Maeder

Xavier Maeder is the group leader for research in microstructure at the Laboratory of Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures at EMPA. He studied geoscience at the University of Lausanne and earned his PhD in 2007 at the University of Mainz in Germany, where he worked on the physics of de-formation of rocks and minerals. In 2007-2008 he did one year post-doc at the department of Earth Sciences at the University of Utrecht, where he studied the microstructure and deformation mechanism of highly deformed limestone. He joined Empa in 2008, where he did three years post-doc working mainly on the microstructure and mechanical properties of thin films and coatings. In 2011, he took a first assistant position at the University of Lausanne, working on the deformation mechanism and mi-crostructure in shear zones. He moved back to materials science in 2012 as a post-doc at CSEM in Neuchâtel, where he conducted several applied project on microsystems and coatings using advanced X-ray diffraction techniques. Maeder is an expert in electron backscattered and X-ray diffraction techniques.

Johann Michler

Johann Michler is head of the Laboratory of Mechanics of Materials and Nanostructures at EMPA. He received his diploma in Materials Science at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany in 1995 and a PhD degree in Materials Science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzer-land in 2000. He is lecturer at EPFL since 2005. At EMPA he started his activities as staff scientist in me-chanical properties of thin films in 2000. His current research interest focuses on scale dependent me-chanical properties of materials. His research efforts include the development of in-situ SEM, Raman, AFM mechanical testing methods and novel synthesis methods for metals and semiconductors like electrochemical or physical vapor deposition. He is the author or co-author of more than 300 publica-tions, organized several international conferences, and is co-founder of two start-ups.