FYS4340 – Diffraction Methods and Electron Microscopy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

The course gives a theoretical and practical introduction to the principles of transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The course will cover central electron microscopy, diffraction and spectroscopy methods used to describe structures, lattice faults, and chemistry of inorganic materials. The methods cover imaging in TEM and Scanning-TEM (STEM) modes, diffraction with parallel beam illumination, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). The theory is based on a kinematical description. However, a qualitative description of the effect of multiple (dynamical) scattering will be given. The course is aimed for both students that plan to continue with additional training to become TEM operators and for those only targeting a theoretical insight.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • evaluate which sample preparation technique that is the most appropriate for a given sample/material question.
  • describe the construction and work principles of S/TEMs.
  • start using standard software for TEM data analysis/handling.
  • give an oral summary of experiments and results from a S/TEM based scientific paper.
  • index electron diffraction patterns.
  • describe the origin and use of Kikuchi patterns.
  • describe the procedure and choice of experimental conditions for imaging structures and lattice faults.
  • describe the principles behind EDS and EELS and their strengths and weaknesses for sample chemistry determination.
  • discuss the effect of dynamical scattering on diffraction, spectroscopy, and imaging.

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures for international applicants.

FYS3400 – Condensed Matter Physics

Overlapping courses


The course extends over a full semester, with up to 4 hours of teaching per week (lectures and problem solving/instrument demonstrations).

Each student will receive an individual scientific article, which they must familiarize with and present to the other students. This presentation must be completed and approved before you can sit the final exam.


The presentation of a relevant scientific article must be completed and approved before you can sit the final exam.

  • Final oral exam which counts 100% towards the final grade. 

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: ​FYS9340 – Diffraction Methods and Electron Microscopy

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Oct. 20, 2020 1:11:45 PM

Facts about this course


If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching.

Teaching language
Norwegian (English on request)