Characterisation of Advanced Materials

The aim of this five day course is to introduce the principles of the most popular materials characterisation methods based on microscopy, chemical, physical and structural analysis and thermal techniques.

Consideration will also be given to the analysis of particulate materials and coatings.

Monday 3 - Friday 7 December 2018

About the course

The basic principles used for the physical characterisation of materials will be outlined, microscopy by light, electrons and scanned probes will be introduced, and the readily available bulk characterisation methods such as diffraction, X-ray analysis and vibrational spectroscopies will be described.

Surface analysis by electron and ion spectroscopies will also form an important part of the course. Particular emphasis will be paid to the use of a variety of methods in multi-technique approaches for the characterisation of advanced materials.

The course will be staffed by lecturers with considerable experience in materials characterisation. The programme will comprise lectures, laboratory demonstrations, computer simulations and exercise classes with the course tutors.

For queries about this course

Jenna Flint,Short Course Administrator

Provisional syllabus

Please note that we reserve the right to alter the syllabus. Any major changes will be notified to delegates before the course starts.

Course overview

Module aims

This course aims to:

  • Provide a systematic understanding of the principles, equipment and practices of the most popular materials characterisation methods based on microscopy, chemical, physical and structural analysis and thermal techniques
  • Equip students with the knowledge of a broad range of characterisation techniques, such that they clearly understand the capabilities of such methods and their role in completing the process-structure-property relationship.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, students should:

  • Have an understanding of the principles and a knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of the different types of analysis covered in the course
  • Be able to recommend appropriate methods for particular problems and have a good understanding of the data obtained.

Module content

The methods to be included are:

  • Thermal analysis                                                                     
  • X-Ray diffraction                                                                        
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Light microscopy
  • Image acquisition analysis and processing
  • Electron interactions
  • Scanning electron microscopy  
  • The use of Focussed Ion Beam (FIB)
  • X-ray analysis in electron microscopy
  • Electron backscatter diffraction
  • Transmission electron microscopy: Imaging and diffraction
  • Scanning probe microscopies
  • Electron energy loss analysis in the TEM/STEM
  • Auger electron spectroscopy and microscopy
  • Secondary ion mass spectrometry
  • X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy
  • Ion beam analysis: RBS and PIXE.

The module is directed at scientists and engineers who require a grounding in these methods for trouble-shooting investigations or longer term research projects.

Further information


This is a week long course, from Monday 3 - Friday 7 December 2018.


Price per person is £1600.

If you use our 3 for 2 offer and book on three delegates to this course, then the price will be £3200.

How to apply

Payment can be accepted by purchase order, credit card or bank transfer on our online store.

Please note that we do not charge VAT as we are an educational establishment.

Recommended reading

'Physical Methods for Materials Characterisation' P.E.J.Flewitt, R.K.Wild Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd., 2nd edition, 2003. ISBN 978-0750308083

Extensive course notes are supplied. Due to the wide ranging nature of the subject matter, supporting texts are discussed as part of the course.

Course Directors

The Course Director is Professor John F Watts and Co-Director is Dr Mark J Whiting.

Advanced materials brochure

(2.5 MB .PDF)


Contact us

Find us

Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences
University of Surrey