Graduate School

*Laboratory of Scanning Electron Microscopy

This course is part of the programme:
Physics (Third Level)

Objectives and competences

  • To make the students introduced to the basics of Scanning Electron microscopy and related techniques (EDX, CL)
  • To present some selected case studies
  • To get practical hands-on experience and basic authonomy in: preparing sample, setting the intrument, performing the measurement with different signals (secondary, backscattered, EDX), correctly analyze and interpret the collected data and display them into a report.



Content (Syllabus outline)

1. Introduction to Scanning Electron Microscopy: motivations, typical investigated systems, apparatus

2. Beam-specimen interaction: generation of secondary electrons, backscattered electrons, photons in X-ray and visible range.

3. Sample preparation: general guidelines and some laboratory demonstrations

4. Operating the microscope: sample mounting, starting the microscope, alignement, criteria for choosing correct measure parameters. Safety rules.

5. Surface morphology investigation with secondary electrons

6. Surface topography exploiting elemental contrast with backscattered electrons

7. Energy dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy (EDX): principles, qualitative and quantitative mapping and spectroscopy.

8. Cathodoluminescence spectroscopy (CL): principles and some case studies.

9. Data analyis and reporting

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

  • Basic knowledge about Scanning Electron Microscopy and related techniques (EDX, CL) working principles, data analysis, interpretation of results, reporting of results

Practical skills:

  • At the end of the course the student is authonomous in planning a measurement session, in preparing a sample and in its morphological and elemental analysis at a basic level


1. J. Goldstein et al., Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis, Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publisher (New York) 2003

2. Selected papers


Practical session of sample analysis. Written report on practical session results. Oral exam ( 25/50/25 )

Lecturer's references

Associate professor of physics at the University of Nova Gorica.

1. EMIN, Saim, ABDI, Fatwa F. Abdi, FANETTI, Mattia, PENG, Wei, SMITH, W., SIVULA, K., DAM, Bernard, VALANT, Matjaž. A novel approach for the preparation of textured CuO thin films from electrodeposited CuCl and CuBr. Journal of electroanalytical chemistry, ISSN 1572-6657, 2014, vol. 717-718, str. 243-249, doi: 10.1016/j.jelechem.2014.01.038. [COBISS.SI-ID 3243515]

2. LISJAK, Darja, OVTAR, Simona, KOVAČ, Janez, GREGORATTI, Luca, ALEMAN, Belen, AMATI, Matteo, FANETTI, Mattia, MAKOVEC, Darko. A surface-chemistry study of barium ferrite nanoplates with DBSa-modified surfaces. Applied Surface Science, ISSN 0169-4332. [Print ed.], 2014, vol. 305, str. 366-374, doi: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2014.03.092. [COBISS.SI-ID 27593511] 

3. FANETTI, Mattia, AMBROSINI, Stefano, AMATI, Matteo, GREGORATTI, Luca, ABYANEH, M. K., FRANCIOSI, A., CHIA, A. C. E., LAPIERRE, R. R., RUBINI, Silvia. Monitoring the Fermi-level position within the bandgap on a single nanowire : a tool for local investigations of doping. Journal of applied physics, ISSN 0021-8979, 2013, vol. 114, no. 15, str. 154308-1-154308-9, doi:10.1063/1.4826198. [COBISS.SI-ID 3196411] 

4. FANETTI, Mattia, et al. Structure and molecule : substrate interaction in a Co-octaethyl porphyrin monolayer on the Ag(110) surface. The journal of physical chemistry. C, Nanomaterials and interfaces, ISSN 1932-7447, 2011, vol. 115, no. 23, str. 11560-11568. [COBISS.SI-ID 2254843] 

5. BALOG, Richard, FANETTI, Mattia, et al. Bandgap opening in graphene induced by patterned hydrogen adsorption. Nature materials, ISSN 1476-1122, 2010, vol. 9, no. 4, str. 315-319. [COBISS.SI-ID 2261243]

University course code: 3FIi26n

Year of study: 1




  • Lectures: 10 hours
  • Exercises: 40 hours
  • Seminar: 30 hours
  • Individual work: 100 hours

Course type: elective

Languages: english

Learning and teaching methods:
lectures and practical training with the students on the sem/edx/cl apparatus and with sample preparation facilities. during the training each student is preparing the samples,setting the instrument for observation and performing the measures. the student is trained in use of the acquisition and analysis of the data. individual meetings will be done for the data analysis and the support in preparation of a written report.