How to become a user of Empa's Electron Microscopy Center?

Researcher affiliated with Empa and external researchers, from industry and academia, can access the electron microscopes and sample preparation facilities at Empa's Electron Microscopy Center. Users are allowed to independently operate the instruments for which they received an introductory training. As these trainings demand that the trainees are familiar with the basics of the experimental methods, some requirements need to be met:

  • For accessing the Scanning Electron Microscopes, researchers need to have attended a course about SEM, have a background in using SEMs and/or are asked to study an introductory text describing the different imaging modes and the instrument. One-day introduction trainings in groups of 3-5 persons are organized on a monthly bases which are intended to teach the basic operation of a particular SEM. For special applications and experiments, individual trainings can be organized.
  • For accessing the Transmission Electron Microscopes, researchers need to have attended a course about TEM, have  proven experience in using a TEM or need to follow the introductory lecture at ETHZ "Electron microscopy in Materials Science" which takes place in the fall semester. Alternative but equivalent courses, lectures, workshops or schools can be attended to fulfill this requirement. Please ask the staff of the center for upcoming courses and schools (see contact information on this page). Normally, introductory TEM trainings are done individually. For special applications and experiments, additional trainings can be organized, or the measurements can be carried out in collaboration with a staff member of Empa's Electron Microscopy Center.

For research projects where only little microscopy work is needed, staff of the center can carry out the measurements either as a service or, depending on the amount of work and expertise needed, as a collaboration. For such service work, we may ask you to fill in a research agreement.



For persons affiliated with Empa: if you would like to make use of the electron microscopy facilities at Empa Dübendorf (as a user or request a service), please fill in THIS APPLICATION FORM and submit it properly signed to the contact given on this page. In case you apply for using  one of the microscopes by yourself, after submission and approval of the form, you will be added to the waitlist for the next available training session. We try to keep waiting times below one month. After the introductory training, you can book the microscope through Empa's Outlook system and operate the microscope by yourself. Advanced trainings are organized separately. The microscopes are listed in Empa Resources: Du-Equipment.

For external requests, please see contact information on this page.


IMPORTANT: When making reservations for the microscopes, please follow the BOOKING GUIDELINES.


If you would like to access the aberration-corrected STEM/TEM microscope at IBM Rüschlikon, please contact .

Prof. Dr. Rolf Erni
Head Electron Microscopy Center

Phone: +41 58 765 4080

Please read the guidelines for booking the microscopes: