MTE4598 - Electron microscopy - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Nick Birbilis


Associate Professor Philip Nakashima

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


MTE2541, MTE3547


This unit will reveal how electron microscopy can be used to determine the structure and chemistry of a material from the micron to the atomic scale. It will cover methods for the determination of atomic structure, chemical composition and bonding, 3D structures, surface morphology and topography, orientation-relationships and electronic and magnetic structures. These methods will be illustrated with applications, for example, to nanomaterials, alloys, ceramics, catalysts, polymers and electronic materials. The course will cover the theory, methodology and application of both scanning and transmission electron microscopy and will incorporate practical sessions in front of electron microscopes.


On completion of this unit, students will:

  • have a thorough understanding of the methods, capabilities and applications of electron microscopy for the characterization of advanced materials.
  • understand the principles and theory of electron microscopy and be able to understand and interpret elementary electron micrographs and spectroscopy data to reveal the structure of a material.
  • be able to recognize and identify the most appropriate electron microscopy method to characterize different types of materials and materials features.
  • be familiar with advanced techniques and the information that can be provided about materials such as nanomaterials, nanocomposites, alloys, ceramics, catalysts, polymers, glasses and electronic materials.
  • should have improved skills in team work, understanding the literature, completing tasks as part of a team, and also obtain improved oral and written communication skills.


Two laboratory reports: 20% each

Closed book examination (2 hours): 60 %

Workload requirements

2 hours lectures, 1 hour of tutorial classes, 6 hours of private study per week and 26 hours of laboratories per semester (in 3 sessions).

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study