Single-Course Danish 5 ECTS

Diffraction, Spectroscopy and Imaging of Materials

Overall Course Objectives

This course introduces basic principles for determining the three-dimensional structure of materials from millimeter to atomic scale, which can be applied regardless of whether the materials consist of perfect crystals, micro- and nanoparticles, liquids, polymers or proteins. The course addresses key concepts such as crystal structures, reciprocal space, form- and structure factors, lattice vibrations and electron structures. It is discussed how diffraction, spectroscopy, and imaging with X-rays, neutrons and electrons can be used to investigate the structures and properties of solids, and how the coupling between experimental observables and theoretical models becomes an important basis for the development of the development of advanced engineering materials and functional structures. The course links to the condensed matter physics courses 10303 and 10317

Learning Objectives

  • State differences and similarities in how atomic nuclei and electrons interact with electrons, neutrons and X-ray photons through scattering and absorption.
  • Outline methods for producing electron, X-ray and neutron radiation in the laboratory and at large-scale facilities.
  • Describe the principles of atomic-scale structure determination using diffraction of electrons, X-rays and neutrons as well as X-ray absorption spectroscopy.
  • Describe the principles of determining element distribution and electron structure, including Fermi level, using spectroscopic measurements with electrons and X-rays.
  • Describe the principles of studies of atomic vibrations (lattice vibrations, phonons) using electrons, X-rays and neutrons.
  • Describe the principles of imaging structures from millimeters to atomic-dissolved level in solids using electrons, X-rays and neutrons.
  • Describe and compare the strengths and weaknesses of X-ray, neutron and electron-based methods for material characterization.
  • Apply theoretical models to calculate characteristic experimental observable by diffraction, spectroscopy and imaging on solids with electrons, neutrons and X-rays.
  • Analyze the structure, dynamics and properties of selected solid state systems, including energy-related material systems used in catalysts, superconductors and solar cells.

Course Content

Cross-section, scattering factors, wave/particle description of the interaction between probe and matter, crystal lattices, reciprocal space, lattice vibrations, electron structure, absorption, diffraction, spectroscopy, fluorescence and imaging with electrons, neutrons, and X-rays.

Recommended prerequisites

10036/10041/10080/31400/10102/10104, Or equivalent courses in electromagnetism and quantum mechanics

Teaching Method

lectures, problem solving and excercises

See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 10208
Course type Bachelor
Semester start Week 35
Semester end Week 48
Days Wed 13-17

7.500,00 DKK