Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After the course the student can

  • describe qualitatively the basic idea of X-ray diffraction and scattering
  • identify biomaterials-related problems that can be solved with X-ray scattering
  • distinguish between small and wide-angle scattering and select one of them to obtain desired information from a biomaterial sample
  • name X-ray techniques available at Aalto and describe the access procedures to synchrotrons, can recall how to find information on beamlines, techniques etc.
  • recognize differences in the measurement and data analysis of different types of biomaterial samples
  • participate in a scattering measurement and data analysis of a biomaterial sample, and present to others what was done
  • plan a simple scattering measurement of a biomaterial sample and conduct it together with a more experienced user
  • interpret in a simple way scattering data originating from a biomaterial sample

Credits: 5

Schedule: 19.04.2021 - 31.05.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Paavo Penttilä

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Ville Liljeström, Paavo Penttilä

Contact information for the course (valid 15.03.2021-21.12.2112):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The target of the course is to introduce the students to X-ray-based structural characterization methods (both in theory and in practice) and initiate the application of these methods in the students’ own research. The topics covered include: generation of X-rays and their interaction with matter, wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS)/X-ray diffraction (XRD), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), scattering data analysis related to bio-based materials, and practical aspects of scattering experiments.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Group work
    Other independent studying 

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Lectures 10 h
    Demonstrations and group work 40 h
    Other independent studying 85 h


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    To be announced later

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Students can use textbooks on X-ray scattering as source
    information in the reading task and for the pre-test. Otherwise,
    material will be presented by the teacher (Powerpoint slides and videos,
    accessible also afterwards in MyCourses) or can
    be accessed online (webpages of synchrotrons etc.).

    Recommended textbook: Basic X-Ray Scattering for Soft Matter. Wim H. de Jeu. Oxford University Press, 2016. (e-book available at

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The students are expected to be familiar with research questions and practical aspects of experimental research related to bio-based materials. Ideally, they would already be involved in a research project that could benefit from the use of X-ray scattering. The students should have at least a basic understanding on the molecular and/or nanoscale structure of the particular bio-based material they are investigating.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action