TMT4300 - Light and Electron Microscopy


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Written examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Written examination 100/100 4 hours D

Course content

Construction, manner of operation, and application of the microscopes. Light microscopy: Contrast, resolution, illumination modes, polarized light, interference microscopy, interference layer, fluorescence. Scanning electron microscopy: electron optics, interaction electron beam - specimen (secondary electrons, backscattered electrons, X-rays), micro analyses, imaging (detectors, contrast mechanisms), diffraction, fractography, low-vacuum SEM, field emission SEM. transmission electron microscopy: Diffraction, brightfield, darkfield.

Learning outcome

The course teaches the students to use the light microscope (LM), the scanning electron microscope (SEM), and the transmission electron microscope (TEM). For LM and SEM the students should obtain a profound understanding of the theory behind the microscopes, how they are constructed, how they work and how they are used. Concerning TEM, the course gives a simple theoretical introduction based on Bragg's law and a simple introduction in construction and use. Only to a limited extent the course deals with specimen preparation. The course should give the students the necessary skills to carry out the most common microscopy investigations, in the first instance within their project and master projects. In addition, the course also serves as a qualification course for the PhD course Electron microscopy.
Within light microscopy the students should be able to explain the theory for image formation, contrast, resolution, polarized light applied on metals, interference microscopy, interference films and fluorescence, and they should be able to explain the manner and mode of operation of accessories like diaphragms, filters, prisms, stoppers and objective lenses. In addition, the students should be able to carry out estimates of resolving power and height differences in the specimen surface (interference microscopy). The students should also know different methods for measuring grain and particle sizes directly in the microscope.
Within SEM the students should be able to explain the theories for electron optics, the interactions between electron beam and specimen (secondary and backscattered electrons, X-ray formation), microanalysis (EDS and WDS), image formation (detectors, contrast mechanisms), diffraction (EBSD), fractography, as well as different types of SEM microscopes. Furtermore, the students should be able to carry out calculations associated with resolution power, depth of view, atomic number contrast, and element number (Moseleys law). Through practical laboratory work the students should also be able to operate the microscopes and to do necessary adjustments to obtain optimum conditions for imaging, diffraction studies and chemical analysis, i.e. adjustment of acceleration voltage, beam current, working distance, astigmatism and objective aperture.
Within TEM the students should be able to explain the most common imaging techniques bright field, dark field, lattice imaging and diffraction. From Bragg's law they should be able to explain how diffraction patterns are formed in the microscope and how diffraction contrast is obtained in bright field and dark field images. Of common adjustments, it is expected that the students should be able to adjust the specimen height and the condensor aperture (in addition to focus). From diffraction patterns, the students should be able to calculate atomic plane distances of phases that are contained within the specimen.
Through laboratory work and report writing the students should develop their skills in collaboration and written communication of scientific results.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and mandatory tutorials and laboratory exercises. Instruction is provided in English or Norvegian as needed. If the teaching is given in English the Examination papers can be given in English only. Students are free to choose Norwegian or English for written assessments.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may change from written to oral.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (MIKJ)
Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (MTKJ)
Materials Science and Engineering (MTMT)
Materials Technology (MIMT)
Materials Technology (PHMT)
Nanotechnology (MTNANO)

Required previous knowledge

This course can only be taken by students with a study right in the five-year master's programme in Materials Science and Engineering (MTMT), the two-year master's programme in Materials Science and Engineering (MIMT), the five-year master's programme in Industrial Chemistry and Biotechnology (MTKJ)or the two-year master's programme in Industrial Chemistry and Biotechnology (MIKJ). The course can however also be taken by Double Degree students who are going to apply for for a study right in either the five-year master's programme in Materials Science and Engineering (MTMT)or the five-year master's programme in Industrial Chemistry and Biotechnology (MTKJ).

Course materials

J. K. Solberg og V. Hansen: Innføring i transmisjon elektronmikroskopi, compendium. J.K. Solberg: Lysmikroskopi, compendium. J. Hjelen: Scanning elektronmikroskopi, compendium.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
SIK5077 7.5


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Written examination

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Spring ORD Written examination 100/100 D
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.