TEM Laboratory – Training Plan

In order to service the education mission at North Carolina State University, a regular year-round training on Transmission Electron Microscopy imaging and analysis is available for NSCU students. This training plan can be considered as either a preparation or an extended training for the regular courses for graduate or undergraduate students. It is also intended to meet the needs of research by faculty, postdocs and students at NCSU.

Training begins by registering with the Analytical Instrument Facility (AIF)

  1. Complete and return the Billing Authorization Form
  2. Register as a New User on FOM

Depending on the needs, either the JEOL 2000FX S/TEM or the JEOL 2010F S/TEM can be considered for initial training. It is recommended, however, that new TEM users begin training on the JEOL 2000FX. If interest exists and as the skill of the user develops and the requirement of the research demands more advanced analysis, training can be conducted on the Titan 60-300 aberration-corrected and monochromated S/TEM. Training on the Titan 60-300 S/TEM is usually for experienced users with advanced research requirements beyond the current capabilities of the JEOL 2010F .

Training and Access for New Users

  1. A three-session, one-on-one training by the TEM facility staff, with each session about 2-4 hours (depending on situation).Users who satisfactorily complete the training will be granted C-Access to the lab. At this stage, users can reserve sessions on-line, and use the instrument under supervision, but do not have access to the lab doors.
  2. After at least three additional practice sessions, with each session at least 2-3 hours, plus passing a quick check list with lab manager, B-Access will be granted. At this stage, users can reserve sessions on-line, use the instrument independently, and have daytime access to the lab doors (7:30 am – 5:30 pm) Monday-Friday.
  3. Users who have accumulated at least additional 30 hours experience with the instrument after B-Access, plus emergency procedure training, will be promoted to A-Access, which allows users to access the lab in a 24/7 scheme.

During training only instrument time will be charged. See also the TEM Laboratory Access Policy.

Basic Training

  1. A brief introduction to the lab, which includes radiation sources, sample and sample holder cleaning, plasma cleaner, liquid nitrogen, sample holders etc. A brief discussion on the samples that trainees will study will be conducted, which is helpful to guide the direction of training.
  2.  A brief introduction to the transmission electron microscope, which includes: (i) interaction between electron and materials; (ii) diffraction and image formation; (iii) the three major apertures and their roles in transmission electron microscopy; (iv) vacuum conditions; (v) functions on panels and their relation with the real action of electron beam controls;
  3. Sample loading and unloading by using single tilt-holder and double-tilt holders. Practice for several times.
  4. Beam alignment and the purpose of the specific alignments: (i) gun alignment; (ii) condenser lens alignment; (iii) alignment between different beam size; (iv) eucentric height adjustment; (v) pivot alignment; (vi) current center and high-tension center alignment; (vii) objective astigmatism correction. Practice for several times.
  5. Digital camera, data transfer and storage.
  6. Shut down procedure of the instrument.

Advanced Training

The basic three-session training will allow students to start working with the instruments. Once basic operation training is finished, more dedicated trainings will be available on request.

Imaging Techniques Bright field, dark field, central dark field, weak-beam dark field, two-beam conditions
Series Tilting Technique Double tilt holder – obtaining and controlling the imaging condition
Convergent-beam electron diffraction
Phase Contrast FFT, Scherzer focus
EDS Experimental condition set-up, peak identification, qualitative and quantitative analysis, elemental mapping, line scans
STEM Free-lens control, Ronchigram, HAADF imaging, aperture alignment, coma correction, astigmatism correction
EELS Zero-loss collection and alignment, optimization of the condition, edges of elements and collection, sample thickness
GIF GIF tuning, energy filtered imaging

Titan Training

Training on the Titan 80-300 usually includes:

  1. Basic operation of the Titan platform: basic beam alignment, familiarity with the user interface
  2. Cs corrector tuning
  3. STEM Imaging: BF, DF, HAADF
  4. EELS collection without monochromator
  5. EELS collection with monochromator
  6. Super X EDS system

Periodic supplementary training also includes workshops and presentations by invited faculty members and application scientists from the major manufacturers, and some vendors with very special techniques.


Staff and Steering Committee Access Policy Training Plan Laboratory Guidelines