Scanning Electron / Ion / Probe Microscopy in Materials Characterization

By Prof. Debabrata Pradhan   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 410
This course “Scanning Electron / Ion / Probe Microscopy in Materials Characterization” will provides in- depth understanding on three different microscopy techniques to students as well as engineers, technicians, and researchers (material and biological scientists). These three scanning microscopy techniques are widely used to obtain the surface morphology of solid materials (primarily) at nanometer range. The topics will cover not only basic principles of these techniques and different parameters that affect the image quality but also preparation of different types of samples and the interpretation of results/data. The advancements to these microscopic techniques will be briefed with examples.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : B.Tech./M.Tech./Ph.D. students and researchers from academics and industries.
INDUSTRIES SUPPORT : Any industries related to materials
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 8 weeks
Category :
  • Metallurgy and Material science & Mining Engineering
Credit Points : 2
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 21 Feb 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 21 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction to microscopy in general. Resolution, Light versus electron versus ion as source. Lens aberrations, Main components of scanning electron microscope (SEM), Electron beam-specimen interaction

Week 2: Generation and detection of signals, Imaging modes, Major parameters that affect the SEM image quality, Additional capabilities of SEM, Specimen preparation.

Week 3 : Introduction to helium ion microscope (HIM), Electrons versus ions, Ion source and operation of ion microscope, Ion-solid interaction, Signal generation, Image formation, and contrast mechanisms.

Week 4 : Imaging techniques, Scanning transmission ion microscopy, Microanalysis with HIM, ToF-SIMS on HIM, Modification of materials using ion microscope.

Week 5: Introduction to scanning probe microscopy (SPM), Important parts of scanning tunneling microscope (STM), STM Tip fabrication, Working principles, Different modes of operation, Image processing and analysis, Artifacts.

Week 6: Work function measurement, Scanning tunneling spectroscopy, and Imaging the surface states. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), fabrication of cantilevers, calculation of spring constant.

Week 7: Different forces and their interaction with the sample, Modes of AFM operation and their principle, Noises in AFM, Advanced imaging modes, Work function and surface potential measurements, other force microscopy.

Week 8: Mechanical, chemical, and electric properties measurement using probe microscope, Manipulation of atoms and molecules using AFM and STM, Industrial applications.

Books and references

Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Microanalysis by Joseph Goldstein et al.
Helium Ion Microscopy Principles and Applications by David C. Joy
Scanning Probe Microscopy by Bert Voigtländer

Instructor bio

Prof. Debabrata Pradhan

IIT Kharagpur
The instructor of this course “Debabrata Pradhan” has been serving as Assistant and Associate Professor at Materials Science Centre, IIT Kharagpur since 2010. He received PhD degree from IIT Bombay, and did postdoctoral research at Tamkang University, Taiwan, for 2 years and University of Waterloo, Canada, for 4 years. He also served Electron Microscopy facility at SAIF, IIT Bombay, for a year after completion of PhD work. He has received “Adani Award” for Excellence in Teaching Physical Chemistry to the B. Tech. students at IIT-Bombay (2001-2002), MRSI Medal 2019 by MRS, India, in recognition of significant contributions to the field of Materials Science and Engineering, and Faculty Excellence Award 2019 by IIT Kharagpur for outstanding contributions towards Teaching, Research, and Institutional Development. He has published more than 130 research papers, 1 book, 2 book chapters, and 2 patents. His current h-index is 40 with citations >5500.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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