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Large scale facilities for materials science (MaMaSELF)


Large scale facilities for materials science (MaMaSELF)


Academic year 2024/2025

Course ID
Elisa Borfecchia (Lecturer)
Degree course
2nd year
Teaching period
First semester
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
CHIM/02 - physical chemistry
Class Lecture
Type of examination
Type of learning unit

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

The course is associated with the MaMaSELF Summer School and reserved to students enrolled to the MaMaSELF program.

The second academic year of the Master MaMaSELF will start with a summer school of two weeks, where both lectures and practicals will offer an excellent introduction into the use of Large Scale Facilities for Materials Science. The course takes place at University of Montpellier in September, before the beginning of the lectures given at the different Universities of the Mamaself consortium. The course is aimed at providing the students with a complete overview about theoretical background and experimental aspects related to production of both synchrotron radiation and neutron beams at large scale facilities and to their exploitation in the characterization of materials by diffraction and spectroscopy techniques. A further aim of the summer school is to bring together all the students participating to the program and to allow a maximum of personal exchange between the students, but also to propose already at this stage possible subjects of internships, and the list of Master thesis (and corresponding supervisors) available for the second semester.


Results of learning outcomes

  • Strengthening of notions about physical bases of the interaction between structural probes (X-ray photons, neutrons) with matter and their exploitation for advanced characterization techniques of interest in the field of materials science
  • Learning about structure and technical design of modern synchrotron facilities and neutron sources, as well as related about the related instrumentation for different experimental methods.
  • Acquisition of knowledge and know-how about state-of-the art techniques (spectroscopy, diffraction, scattering, imaging) carried out at large scale facilities and their applicative potential in materials science.


The core of the lectures will all be given by the scientists responsible of the Master in each of the universities, exhibiting a huge background in the field of large-scale facility based characterization of materials. Each year the core lectures will be supported by specific seminars given by other university colleagues and by researchers directly coming from national or European Large Scale Facilities centres. Depending on availability, teaching contribution from scientists coming from outside Europe could be scheduled, in order to show the perspectives in Non-European countries and to give a more globalized view of research activities and organisation outside European using "Large Scale Facilities".

A list of main topics and techniques covered in the course is reported below.

  • Introduction to synchrotron radiation: properties and structure of modern sources
  • X-ray absorption and X-ray Emission spectroscopies
  • Local structure determination by EXAFS analysis and applications in materials science
  • Diffraction with synchrotron radiation: instrumentation and methods
  • Neutron sources for research applications in the field of materials science
  • Inelastic neutron scattering
  • Introduction into magnetic neutron scattering
  • Introduction into structure refinement
  • Introduction into PDF analysis
  • Diffuse scattering
  • Discussion on modalities of the Master Thesis and overview on available Master Thesis projects

Course delivery

The course will include frontal lessons, practicals and exercises. The whole course is delivered in English.




Learning assessment methods

The learning outcome will be assessed by a written exam, scheduled at the end of the second week of the Summershool, containing both open and multiple-choice questions about the main topics discussed in the lectures.

Suggested readings and bibliography


The students will be provided with the slides discussed in all the lectures, containing appropriate bibliographic references and suggested further readings for all different topics covered in the course.



The students with special needs and disabilities may find information on the follow web site:
Last update: 24/05/2024 16:49
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