Advanced Characterization of Materials at Micro-, Nano- and Atomic Scale

4 to 7 November, 2024
ScopeM, ETH Zürich, Hönggerberg

Registration deadline 14 October. Please note that a maximum of 24 students can be admitted.

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 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.

The fundamentals, workflow, limitations, and advantages of each technique over possible alternatives 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 : CHF 480.-

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

All other participants: CHF 2,000.-


Monday Electrons Speakers
8:30 – 9:00 Welcome + self-introduction by participants   
09:00 – 09:45 Fundamentals of TEM & STEM Alan Maigné (ETHZ)
09:45 – 10:30 Electron Diffraction  Fabian Gramm (ETHZ)
10:45 – 11:30 Microstructure and Phase Analyses  Alla Sologubenko (ETHZ)
11:30  – 12:15 Analytical Electron Microscopy (EELS and EFTEM) Duncan Alexander (EPFL)
12:15 – 13:30 LUNCH  
13:30 – 14:15 Aberration corrected TEM Rolf Erni (Empa)
14:15 – 14:30 SHORT BREAK  
14:30 – 16:00 Instruments Visits   
16:15 – 17:45 Instruments Visits   
Tuesday Electrons and Ions Speakers
09:00 – 09:45 TEM Image Simulations Robin Schäublin (ETHZ)
09:45 – 10:30 DPC and 4D-STEM Victor Boureau (EPFL)
10:30 – 10:45  SHORT BREAK  
10:45 – 11:30  Cyro Electron Microscopy Bilal Qureshi (ETHZ)
11:30 – 12:15  Correlative Microscopy Miriam Lucas (ETHZ)
12:15 – 13:30 LUNCH  
13:30 – 14:15 Analytical SEM (EDX & EBSD) Karsten Kunze (ETHZ)
14:15 – 14: 30 SHORT BREAK  
14:30 – 16:00 Instruments Visits   
16:15 – 17:45 Instruments Visits   
Wednesday Ions, photons Speakers
09:00 – 09:45 Focused Ion Beam (FIB) – Fundamentals and Applications Joakim Reuteler (ETHZ)
09:45 – 10:30 Atom Probe Tomography  Stephan Gerstl (ETHZ)
10:30 – 10:45  SHORT BREAK  
10:45 – 11:30  Analytical Optical Spectroscopy & Microscopy (TBC) TBC
11:30 – 12:15  Raman Instrument and Applications Sung Sik Lee (ETHZ)
13:30 – 14:30 Q&A  
14:30 – 14:45 SHORT BREAK  
14:45 – 16:15 Instruments Visits   
16:30 – 18:00 Instruments Visits   
Thursday Round-up and exam  
09:00 – 10:30 Instruments Visits  
10:30 – 10:45 SHORT BREAK  
10:45 – 12:15  Instruments Visits   
13:30 – 13:45 Concluding remarks and goodbye  
13:45 – 14:45  Written exam   

Instrument Visits (TBC)

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. Full attendance and passing a final examination is required in this case. Please contact Carey Sargent for details.


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

Contact Information

Carey Sargent