Introduction to microscopy + Laboratory work

The purpose of this course (MSE-352) is to give an overview of different techniques for analyzing the microstructure and composition of materials, above all those related to electron and optical microscopy. The course includes lectures as well as practical demonstrations. The purpose of laboratory work is to let students apply theoretical knowledge and gain hands-on experience.


  • Basic knowledge about the main techniques of characterization and analysis of materials by electron microscopy.
  • Understanding how an electron microscope works.
  • To know what are the possibilities and limits of the different techniques:
    • The choice of the adequate characterization technique
    • Interpretation of images and results of different nature: SEM, (S)TEM, HRTEM, diffraction, EDS, EBSD
    • Solid base for a later use of an electron microscope.
  • To apply theoretical knowledge acquired in the intraductory course and discover experimental constraints.



  • Principles of SEM et TEM, electron optics, aberrations, Components of an electron microscope.
  • Interaction between radiation and matter.
  • Elastic and inelastic Interaction, secondary emission, diffusion of electrons by a crystal, diffraction, Bragg condition, Ewald sphere, recall of crystallography.


  • Contrast formation (probes, SE, BSE).
  • Crystallographic analysis (EBSD).
  • Instrumentation and complementary techniques: (ESEM, Cryo-SEM, STEM, FIB).


  • Diffraction contrast in TEM (BF,DF).
  • Diffraction techniques (SAED).
  • Analyses of defects.
  • HRTEM (contrast transfer function, defocus, resolution).


  • Ionization.
  • X-ray spectroscopy (EDS, WDS).

« Novel » microscopies

  • 3D Microscopy (tomography, reconstruction).
  • Ion Microscopy (He).

Sample preparation

Laboratory work

  • Sample preparation.
  • Scanning electron microscope SEM (SE, BSE, EBSD).
  • Transmission electron microscope (BF, DF, HRTEM, SAED).
  • Chemical analysis EDS.
  • Methods of interpretation (MC simulations, diffraction indexation, JEMS).

Required prior knowledge

  • Solid state physics.
  • Electronical structure of atom.
  • Crystallography.
  • Crystal defects.

Prerequisite for

  • Analysis of microstructures.
  • Surface analysis.
  • Semester project and master thesis.
  • Electron microscopy: Advanced methods.

Type of teaching

  • Ex cathedra.
  • Demonstrations.
  • Laboratory works.
  • Exercises.

Form of examination

  • Oral examination.
  • Scientific report from laboratory works.