2019 Summer School – Characterization of Materials

Featuring lectures by experienced researchers, this course gives an overview of the different techniques and applications of materials characterization available to scientists and engineers. It is open to participants with a basic background in materials science, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, microtechnology or physics, from both industry and academia.


The course has been broadly designed to cover characterisation methods grouped into the three main categories of “Micro scale,” “Surfaces” and “Mechanics.” Topics covered will range from Analytical SEM, X-ray and Neutron Diffraction to XPS and Auger to Nanoindenation, HR-XRD methods to Digital Image Correlation Techniques. The detailed program below is subject to modification. 

Monday 2 Sept.
09:30-09:45  Welcome + self-introduction by participants  Carey Sargent, CCMX
09:45-10:30 Analytical SEM: EDX and FIB (+ESEM)  Marco Cantoni, EPFL
10:30-11:00 COFFEE BREAK  
11:00-11:45 Transmission Electron Microscopy & Microanalysis  Emad Oveisi, EPFL
11:45-12:30 X-ray Diffraction in Materials Science
Thomas Weber, ETHZ
12:30-14:00 LUNCH  
14:00-14:45 Raman spectroscopy Anna Fontcuberta, EPFL
14:45-15:30 Atomic Force Microscopy Georg Fantner, EPFL
15:30-16:00 COFFEE BREAK  
16:00-16:45 Surface analysis by XPS Antonella Rossi, ETHZ
16:45-17:30 Surface analysis by Auger Antonella Rossi, ETHZ
18:00 – 20:00
Tuesday 3 Sept.    
09:15-10:00 Atom Probe Tomography Stephan Gerstl, ETHZ
10:00-10:30 COFFEE BREAK  
10:30-11:15 X-ray Fluorescence Techniques  Didier Bonvin, Thermo Fisher Sci.
11:15-12:00 Tribology testing of surfaces  Anna Igual, EPFL
12:00-13:30 LUNCH  
13:30-14:15 Corrosion Anna Igual, EPFL
14:15-15:00 Instrumented nanoindentation  Nick Randall, Alemnis
15:00-15:30 COFFEE BREAK  
15:30-16:15 Thin films and surface engineering for electronic devices Claudiu Falub, Evatec
Digital Image Correlation Techniques John Kolinksi, EPFL
17:00-18:00 Poster session  
Weds. 4 Sept    
09:15-10:00 Thin films Alex Dommann, Empa
10:00-10:30 COFFEE BREAK  
10:30-11:15 HR-XRD Methods Alex Dommann, Empa
11:15-12:00 Characterisation of Visco-Elastic Materials  Yves Leterrier, EPFL
12:00-13:30 LUNCH  
13:30-14:15 Mechanical Resonators for Characterization of Materials Guillermo Villanueva, EPFL
14:15-15:00 Fracture Mechanics John Botsis, EPFL
15:00-15:15 Concluding remarks and goodbye  
15:30-16:30 Written exam for students seeking ECTS credits  


EPFL, Lausanne — MED2 1522.


You can register for the course using the form found here. The deadline for registration is Friday, 9 August 2019.

ETCS Credits

To be eligible for 1 ECTS credit, participating PhD students must complete a written exam at the end of the course. Full attendance and presentation of a poster are also mandatory.


The poster session is a means of encouraging constructive discussions and networking and participants are encouraged to take part.

Abstracts of poster (300 word maximum) are required and must be submitted to Carey Sargent no later than Friday, 9 August 2019.

A4 mini-posters in PDF format should also be submitted to Carey Sargent after the participant’s registration has been confirmed, and no later than Monday, 17 August 2019.

Cost of participation

PhD students from EPFL. ETHZ, PSI and Empa: CHF360

All other participants from academia: CHF460

Participants from industry: CHF1500

Participants will receive an invoice from CCMX after registration has been confirmed — VAT and bank transfer fees (CHF12) for payments coming from abroad may apply. Lunches and coffee breaks are included in the cost of participation.


CCMX does not organise any accommodation for course participants. For students, two attractive options are:

Additional hotels can be found on the web site of Lausanne Tourism.


Please contact Carey Sargent with any questions.