SEM training

This SEM training provides a foundation for students new to SEM. At the conclusion of this training, students are able to align and operate an SEM, obtain secondary electron (SE) and backscatter electron (BE) micrographs. During the training, students will have the opportunity to study their samples and learn how to optimize SEM setting.

All SEM users are required to enroll and pass one of the follwing courses.

If you have taken a relevant course elsewhere, a quiz consisting of a series of multiple-choice questions is required to evaluate your theoretical background. Prior experience is required for advanced training on the SEM, including EDX and FIB.

BSc course MSE-352 “Introduction to microscopy”

  • Offered each Fall semester. This introductory course in microscopy aims to give an overview of the different techniques for analyzing the microstructure and composition of materials, particularly those related to electron and optical microscopy. The course includes lectures as well as demonstrations.


MSc course PHYS-405 “Experimental methods in physics”

  • With this course, the student will learn advanced methods in transmission electron microscopy, especially what is the electron optical setup involved in the acquisition, and how to interpret the data.


MSE-636 “Scanning Electron Microscopy techniques”

  • Offered each Fall and Spring semester, this 1-credit course covers the physical principles underlying SEM, various imaging techniques available in SEM, as well as practical approaches and demonstrations. Students are also introduced to energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and ion beam methods. This intensive course is intended for researchers who envisage to use scanning electron microscopy techniques for their research or who want to understand how to interpret SEM images and analytical results presented in scientific publications. Content This intensive course is intended for researchers who are potential new users of scanning electron microscopes. It will provide them with a basic understanding of the instruments, optics of SEM, the imaging modes, the associated analytical techniques EDS and EBSD, related theories of image formation.


CH-633 “Advanced solid-state characterisation techniques”

  • Offered every two years. This course aims at summarizing a multitude of state-of-the-art characterization methods for thin films, surfaces and nanomaterials. Applications of state-of-the-art techniques, both at EPFL facilities and outside, will be covered, providing theoretical bases, relevant topics and examples from current research. The course is aimed at applications in materials science/chemistry and chemical engineering. The course will consist of four modules, starting with a brief introduction to the physical, electronic and optical properties of the solid-state.

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