A practical introduction to scanning electron microscopy

The course will cover the basic modes of operation of SEM, sample preparation, x-ray spectroscopy and a description of the capabilities of our in-house microscope and other extended features. The course includes 4 hours of lectures and 4 hours of practical hands-on SEM imaging in small groups after which the students will be allowed to book and use the instrument on their own. To sign up please fill in the form here.

The schedule looks as follows:

First lecture, (April 9, 11-13, IChF lecture hall).

  • Introduction
  • Principles of operation
    • Back-scattered vs secondary electrons
    • Different detectors

Second lecture, (April 11, 11-13, IChF lecture hall).

  • Sample preparation
  • EDX/WDX spectrocopy (given by Dr. Marcin Hołdyński)

The final part of the course is a practical training in small groups (3 students) where handling of the microscope, mounting samples, adjusting the image etc. will be shown and tested.

For passing the course the students should perform measurements on a test sample and write a short report showing the ability to take images and analyse the information from these.

Lecture slides (might still change):
SEM course 1
SEM course 2

Sign up for the practicals here. The practicals will take place in the SEM-room at the bottom floor of building 4. The time is from 10-14 if nothing else is agreed.

Recommended reading


Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Microanalysis, Goldstein, J., Newbury, D.E., Joy, D.C., Lyman, C.E., Echlin, P., Lifshin, E., Sawyer, L., Michael, J.R., Springer 2003. Electronic version available from IChF IP here. (Starting to get a bit old, but still regarded as a bible for SEM).

MC_W95 is (an ancient) program for electron impact Monte Carlo simulations from the Goldstein book to play with.

For questions please contact Martin Jönsson-Niedziółka.

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