The Penn State Microscopy School

The Penn State Microscopy School:  Electron Microscopy Methods at the Convergence of Materials and Life Sciences  

Week 1: August 13 – 17, 2018
Week 2: August 20 - 24, 2018
(You can attend either Week 1 and Week 2 or Week 1 Only)

The Millennium Science Complex
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802

Course Description

This course will emphasize TEM methods that can be applied to both life and materials sciences. Similar scientific challenges have evolved in both disciplines providing synergistic opportunities for researchers that choose to cross disciplinary boundaries and apply techniques initially developed in other fields. For example, low dose and cryo instrumentation developed for the life sciences can benefit samples consisting of polymers or other weakly bonded materials. Similarly, spectroscopy, heavily used in materials science, can benefit some biological systems by providing key elemental information including maps of distributions of carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, iron, etc within biological samples. These opportunities have been enabled by recent advances in instrumentation which include: high sensitivity direct electron detectors, automation of complex experiments, computational power to evaluate massive amounts of data, and aberration correctors, to name a few.

Subject matter experts from Thermo Fisher Scientific and Penn State will be the primary instructors for the course, which will focus on providing practical knowledge for the topics listed below. The full course will be span over two weeks. Week 1 will consist of topical lectures and live demonstrations. Week 2 (optional) will provide hands-on instruction for students to practice the methods learned in Week 1 using Penn State’s microscopy facility. A full suite of electron microscopes including: a Tecnai, Talos, Titan, and Krios TEMs as well as the Helios and Scios 2 dualbeam FIBs (both equipped with cryo-transfer stages) will be used during the course.

Register Here
(You will be redirected to Cvent for registration)

Image: Cellulose microfibrils – Cosgrove (top left), Virus structure – Hafenstein (top right), Metal decorated nanotubes – Schaak (bottom left), Nanomedicie – Adair (bottom right)


Topics include

  • Basic TEM concepts and differences between life sciences and materials applications
  • Sample Preparation methods including plunge freezing, microtoming, focused ion beam milling
  • Imaging modes and key variables: TEM vs. STEM, dose, accelerating voltage, etc.
  • Analysis of beam sensitive materials including low dose, cryo, and direct electron detectors
  • Tomography data collection and analysis
  • Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy for elemental mapping
  • Advanced methods/instrumentation such as aberration correctors, monochromators, phase plates, and automated data collection for single particle analysis

Target Audience

Microscopists in either life sciences or materials sciences

Primary Instructors

  • Matthijn Vos (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
  • Jan Ringnalda (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
  • Maarten Wirix (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
  • Jennifer Gray (Penn State)
  • Ke Wang (Penn State)

Fee Week 1: (limited to 40 participants)

Academic: $1300
Industry: $1700

Fee Week 2: (limited to 20 participants)

Academic: $2400
Industry: $3100


Those wishing to participate in either the full two weeks or just week 1 should register by July 30.

Register Here
(You will be redirected to Cvent for registration)


Contact Jennifer Gray or Ke Wang (contact information located on the left of this page).

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