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.


Credits: 3

Schedule: 24.10.2022 - 11.12.2022

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Zhongpeng Lyu, Ville Liljeström

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

Responsive teacher for the whole curriculum period:

Zhongpeng Lyu:

Or for specific lectures or topics, contact:

Ville Liljeström:

Paavo Penttilä



CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • applies in this implementation

    Week 43 (2 hours lectures)
    Basic principles of XRD/WAXS/SAXS. X-ray facilities at AALTO NMC (Nanomicroscopy Centre) (by Ville Liljeström)

    • A brief introduction to WAXS and SAXS
    • What causes the scattering of X-rays?
    • Atomic scattering factor and Bragg’s law
    Week 44 (2 hours lectures + 2 hours demonstration)
    SAXS/WAXS of colloids A (by Zhongpeng Lyu):
    • Near-isotropic, small aspect ratio colloids, e.g. morphology, material; superlattice, e.g. sc, fcc, bcc, bct, hcp; Introduce colloids;
    • Molecular building blocks, e.g surfactant, lipids, zwitter ionic molecules, supra-amphiphilic assemblies.
    • DEMONSTRATION: SAXS/WAXS of colloidal gold dispersion and assembly.
    Week 45 (2 hours lectures + 2 hours demonstration)
    SAXS/WAXS to study continuous polymeric materials and moisture interactions. (by Paavo Penttilä)
    • Theoretical content: Porod law, fractal dimensions, orientation distribution of fibrils or crystallites;
    • Applications: SAXS to study moisture-induced swelling of hydrogels, Crystallinity index, Scherrer equation, and Effects of mechanical deformations.
    • DEMONSTRATION: pulp swelling with moisture, wood, hydrogel, polyethylene.
    Week 46 (2 hours lectures + 2 hours demonstration)
    Introduction of inorganic crystalline materials (single & poly), thin films, and their characterizable properties by scattering methods (by Glenn Ross)
    • Understand the difference between the microstructures of bulk and thin-film and how these impact one's x-ray diffraction measurement approach.
    • Be familiar with in- and out-of-plane X-ray diffraction measurements.
    • Know how to design a DoE for inorganic material characterization using X-ray diffraction to determine the texturing, residual stresses, and crystal quality.
    • DEMONSTRATION: Reciprocal space mapping and pole figure.
    Week 47 (2 hours lectures + 2 hours of guided discussion):
    SAXS/WAXS of colloids B and synchrotron-based SAXS/WAXS (by Valentina Guccini)
    • Anisotropic, large aspect ratio colloids, e.g. CNCs, clays.  
    • Synchrotron research and a brief introduction to SANS. What do you gain by applying to beamtime at a synchrotron facility?
    • GUIDED DISCUSSION: How to approach the analysis of samples of interest among proposed case studies. Which complementary techniques can be used? The students will do “detective work”.
    Week 48 28.11.2022 (presentation of the group discussion, 3 hours):
    Each student will submit the “report” (3 pages) and each group will have 1 hour of presentation.

    For demonstration and guided discussion, the students will be divided into three groups.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • applies in this implementation

    These factors will be used as pass or fail grades:

    Attendance and homework (60%)

    Final report and presentation (40%)

  • applies in this implementation

    Workload details (68 hours in total):

    10 hours of lectures (20 hours workload),

    6 hours of group work (6 hours workload)

    6 hours of laboratory work (18 hours workload)

    1 hour presentation (6 hours workload)

    Reading and homework (12 hours workload)

    3 pages of argument writing (6 hours workload)


Study Material
Substitutes for Courses