MSE 582

Introduction to Transmission Electron Microscopy

Details for Current Semester

MSE 582 Enrollment Application *** Revolving online enrollment ***

Sem. Fall and Spring, cr. 1.

Practical introduction to the operation of transmission electron microscopes. Required of all students who use the TEM in their research.


The course goal is for the students to become competent, research-level transmission electron microscopists. They will understand the functions of the TEM and how it works. They will be competent in basic operating techniques, and ready to learn more advanced ones as needed.

Relation to Program Objectives and Outcomes:

A5, A7, B1, B5. For clarification go to Program Goals for Materials Engineering.


  1. Provide an understanding of Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) theory and principles. This includes:

    • Electro-optics of the TEM (lenses, lens aberrations)
    • Image formation and imaging modes in TEM
    • Diffraction theory and Diffraction patterns
    • Dark and bright field imaging
    • Image interpretation
    • High resolution microscopy and Lattice imaging
    • TEM Sample preparation
  2. Provide "hands-on" training on operation of JEOL 2000FX transmission electron microscope. This includes:
    • Construction of TEMs
    • Basic TEM alignment
    • TEM imaging
    • High resolution and lattice image microscopy


This course is taught based on having two lectures per week, a weekly three hour lab for five weeks, and a certification lab.


Student progress is assessed by their ability to operate the TEM with increasing independence and decreasing instructor intervention, as the labs progress. Students add to their own "user manual" throughout the course.


Students will be evaluated based on writing four lab reports, and their ability to pass a certification test on operation of the TEM. The acquired knowledge will qualify students for use of other transmission microscopes with minimum training. Upon completion of the course and passing the certification test, students will be certified as "TEM Users" which will give them access to the 2000FX TEM microscope.


Feedback is provided by anonymous written evaluation by students at the conclusion of the course.