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ECTS Course Overview

Techniques of Structure Characterization

* Exchange students do not have to consider this information when selecting suitable courses for an exchange stay.

Course Unit Code636-2004/02
Number of ECTS Credits Allocated6 ECTS credits
Type of Course Unit *Compulsory
Level of Course Unit *First Cycle
Year of Study *
Semester when the Course Unit is deliveredSummer Semester
Mode of DeliveryFace-to-face
Language of InstructionCzech, English
Prerequisites and Co-Requisites Course succeeds to compulsory courses of previous semester
Name of Lecturer(s)Personal IDName
VOD37prof. Ing. Vlastimil Vodárek, CSc.
The course deals with modern methods of structure characterization used in materials engineering. Results of structure studies on technical materials using light and electron microscopy techniques are demonstrated on case studies.
Learning Outcomes of the Course Unit
Students will learn about principles of the most important techniques of structure, diffraction and spectral analyses, with possibilities and limitations of individual techniques of structure characterization, with fundamentals of interpretation of structure analysis results. They will be able to define appropriate techniques of structure characterization needed to solve a given problem and to prepare specimens for basic experimental techniques.
Course Contents
1. Materiallography – characterization of structural parameters of technical materials. Basic reasons and aims of structure characterization.
2. Light microscopy. Refraction of light rays in thin lenses. Focal length. Depth of focus. Defects of thin lenses. Spatial resolution.
3. Scheme of light microscope. Methods of image contrast enhancement. Bright field, dark field, polarized light, phase contrast, microhardness testing.
4. Preparation of specimens for light microscopy (metals, composites, ceramic materials). Revealing of microstructure of metals by chemical and electrolytic etching. Basic methods of quantitative microscopy. Typical applications of light microscopy in materials engineering.
5. Interaction of X-rays and electrons with specimens. Diffraction on crystal lattice – Braag´s equation. Reciprocal lattice. Ewald´s sphere. Absorption of radiation. Principles of X-ray diffraction analysis of polycrystalline materials. Qualitative and quantitative phase analyses.
6. Texture analysis. Principles of X-ray analysis of single crystals. Applications of X-ray diffraction for evaluation of macro- and microstresses in technical materials.
7. X-ray fluorescence analysis and X-ray microscopy. Typical applications of X-ray analysis in materials engineering.
8. Principle of transmission electron microscope. Contrast mechanisms in amorphous and crystalline materials. Amplitude contrast – bright field and dark field images.
9. Phase contrast – lattice and structure imaging. Electron diffraction. Diffraction constant. Analysis of diffraction patterns: single- and polycrystals.
10. Preparation of specimens for transmission electron microscopy: extraction carbon replicas and thin metallic foils. Preparation of specimens from non-conductive materials.
11. Principle of scanning electron microscope. Basic mechanisms of contrast formation. Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). Diffraction of backscattered electrons (EBSD). Preparation of specimens for scanning electron microscopy.
12. X-ray spectral microanalysis. Basic principles of wave length and energy dispersive microanalysis. Qualitative and quantitative X-ray microanalyses.
13. Auger electron spectroscopy. Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). Energy filtering in transmission electron microscopy (EFTEM). Typical applications of electron microscopy and X-ray microanalysis in materials engineering.
14. Principles of scanning probe microscopy techniques: STP, ATM. Principles of ion field microscopy and atom probe spectrometry.
Recommended or Required Reading
Required Reading:
WILLIAMS, D. B. a C. B. CARTER. Transmission Electron Microscopy, A Textbook for Materials Science, 2nd ed., Springer, 2012. ISBN 978-0387765020.
GOLDSTEIN, J. et al. Scanning electron microscopy and X–ray microanalysis, 3rd ed., New York: Springer US, 2003. ISBN 978-0-306-47292-3.
VODÁREK, V. Metody studia struktury, Ostrava: VŠB – TU Ostrava, 2012. Dostupné z:
KRAUS, I. Úvod do strukturní rentgenografie, Praha: Academia, 1985.
KARLÍK, M. Úvod do transmisní elektronové mikroskopie, Praha: CVUT, 2011. ISBN 978-80-01-04729-3.
Recommended Reading:
WHISTON, C. X-Ray Methods. Chichester: J. Wiley & Sons, 1987.
WHISTON, C. X-ray methods (analytical chemistry by open learning), J. Wiley & Sons, 1987. ISBN 978-0-471-91386-3.
WILLIAMS, D. B. a C. B. CARTER. Transmission electron microscopy, A textbook for materials science. 2nd edition, Springer, 2012. ISBN 978-0387765020.
GOLDSTEIN, J., et al. Scanning electron microscopy and X–ray microanalysis, 3rd edition, New York: Springer US, 2003. ISBN 978-0-306-47292-3.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
Lectures, Tutorials, Experimental work in labs
Assesment methods and criteria
Tasks are not Defined