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Characterization Tools for Nanostructures

Characterization Tools for Nanostructures (UE S1-3)

Nanostructures and nanomaterials have interesting specific properties related to their low dimensionality and/or to the major role played by the surface. This course aims to present the main methods of observation at the nanoscale of surfaces and interfaces, and the main methods of local characterization of structures of low dimensionality (morphological, structural, optical and spectroscopic characterization, ...)..

Outline of the course

A focus will be done on the main following imaging techniques of

• Optical Microscopies (Confocal and fluorescence microscopies).

• Scanning Near Field Microscopies (Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy –STM‐, Atomic Force Microscopy –AFM‐, Scanning Near Field Optical Microscopy –SNOM‐ .

• Electron Microscopies (Scanning Electron Microscopy – SEM ‐ and Transmission Electron Microscopy – TEM ‐) .

The different parts of the course will be illustrated by specific applications in various fields of nanoscience / nanotechnology and biology.


  • Written final exam of 2 hours with documents: 60%, Practicals and tutorials evaluation 40%

Prior knowledge

basic knowledge of optics, wave propagation and microscopic physics


  • www.microscopyu.com
  • www.olympusmicro.com
  • “Scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy”, R. Wiesendanger, Cambridge University.
  • “Scanning probe microscopy: the lab on a tip”, Ernst Meyer, Hans J. Hug, Roland Bennewitz, Springer.
  • “Principles of nano‐optics” Lukas Novotny et Bert Hecht, Cambridge University Press (2006)

course volume

  • lecture: 32h
  • tutorial: 10h
  • practicals: 7h
  • seminar: 2h
  • ECTS: 6