Technical Contacts

Grey, Jennifer

Staff Scientist TEM, Sample Prep

N002 Millennium Science Complex University Park, PA 16802

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

Course Description

This two-week course will emphasize TEM methods that can be applied to both life and materials sciences. Similar scientific challenges have evolved in both disciplines.  As such, synergistic opportunities exist 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 non-biological beam sensitive samples such as polymers and weakly bonded materials. Similarly, spectroscopy, heavily used in materials science, can benefit some biological systems by providing key elemental information. Evolving in-situ techniques that allow samples to be analyzed in liquid or gas environments which more closely mimic native or application specific conditions are also of great interest to both communities. 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.

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


Subject matter experts from Thermo Fisher Scientific and Penn State will be instructors for the course. Each morning will consist of topical lectures and each afternoon will be devoted to hands-on time and demonstrations.  A full suite of electron microscopes including: the Spirit BioTwin, 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 this course.  Topics include:

  • Sample Preparation: freezing, microtoming, and focused ion beam milling
  • Imaging modes and variables:TEM, STEM, dose, kV
  • SEM and FIB slice and view tomography
  • Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy
  • SEM and FIB slice and view tomography
  • Cryo methods including FIB and TEM
  • In-situ TEM methods
  • Application examples: polymers, catalysis, single particle methods  


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


The course is limited to 20 participants and you must apply in order to be considered.  If accepted, you will be notified of the final course fee and a non-refundable deposit will be required by April 16, 2018.

This is the inaugural year for this course and significant support from Thermo Fisher allows us to offer the course below market rate.  The fee for the full two week course is expected to be in the range of $3000- to $4000 USD, the final fee will be determined by March 15, 2018.

In addition to time on the instruments and instructor notes, the fee covers breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks during the workshop.

Apply Here

Important Dates

Round 1 Application Deadline:  March 15, 2018

Notification of Acceptance:  March 30, 2018

Deposit Due:  April 16, 2018

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