Skip to main content

PX903 - Advanced Electron Microscopy

  • Module code: PX903
  • Module name: Advanced Electron Microscopy
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 10

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This course aims to give a good general grounding in the principles and application of modern electron microscopy and associated analytical techniques. The general headings are as follows: microscopy with light and electrons; electrons and their interaction with the specimen; electron diffraction; the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM); The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM); Chemical Analysis in the Electron Microscope (X-ray Microanalysis; EELS; Introduction to Scanning Transmission electron microscopy (STEM)); Image and diffraction simulation; Recent advances in instrumentation (e.g. aberration correction and monochromation). Associated imaging methods (e.g. tomography and holography).

Principal learning outcomes

(a) Subject understanding and knowledge: Theory and practice of Electron Microscopy (EM) including sample preparation. Understand the relationship between a materials structure, composition and defect or properties and its imaging, diffraction and spectroscopic properties in the EM. The student should also understand the impact of recent improvements such as aberration correction and monochromation; (b) Key Skills Students should understand: (i) how samples are fabricated for EM; (ii) the process of imaging and diffraction in EM; (iii) the associated methods of EM spectroscopy including EDX and EELS. (c) Cognitive Skills; The students should acquire the necessary knowledge in order to perform (b)(i)-(iv) above and, additionally, they should have an appreciation of the limitations of the different techniques (i.e. EM and associated spectroscopy). (d) Subject-Specific/Professional Skills: Students should have enough knowledge in order to achieve preparation and then characterisation of a material using EM and also know what additional information can be obtained from the associated spectroscopies.

Timetabled teaching activities

3 x 1 day laboratory sessions

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
10 CATS (Module code: PX903-10)
C (Assessed/examined work) Assessed Course Work 30%
Assessed Course Work 20%
Examination - January 50%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Postgraduate Taught Analytical Science: Methods and Instrumental Techniques (F1PG) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Analytical Science: Methods and Instrumental Techniques (F1PG) - Year 3