CCMX Advanced Course

03.10.2012- 3-5 October 2012, CSEM - Advanced X-ray Diffraction Methods for Coatings: strain, defects and deformation analysis of thin films



Wednesday 3 October until Friday 5 October 2012


Jaquet-Droz 1
2002 Neuchâtel

Course brochure

Download the PDF version of the brochure.

The brochure should be printed double sided on A4 paper, and folded together to form the 8 page brochure.


Please register on-line here.

The deadline for registration is 19 September 2012. The number of participants is limited to 16.

Aim of the course

  • Introduction to some basic methods used for thin film characterisation.
  • Introduction to HR-XRD characterisation.
  • Discussion of the fundamental theory behind the methods and their limitations.
  • Measurement of real samples.
  • Presentation of in-house protocols for reproducible and reliable measurements.
  • Examples of thin films in applications and the influence of their structure characteristics.
  • Presentation of in-house models for interpreting stress/strain and defect concentration.


  • Introduction to different X-Ray techniques
  • Introduction to the relationships between physical and structural properties
  • High resolution X-Ray techniques
  • Structural properties
  • Coherent and non coherent scattering
  • Stress
  • Coatings
  • Examples of successful technology transfers using X-Ray techniques


Wednesday, 3 October


  • Introduction to some basic thin film characterisation methods
  • Introduction to HR-XRD characterisation



  • X-ray powder diffraction
  • Measurement and calculation of crystallite size of thin films
  • Phase analysis
  • Case studies
  • Measurement protocols and examples


  • Practical studies — measurement equipment
  • Discussion of the day's topics

Thursday, 4 October


  • Texture analysis
  • Data collection
  • Different measurements strategies
  • Practical case studies of thin film characterisation and comparisons between methods


  • Practical studies
  • Polfigure discussion



  • HR-XRD
  • Types of instruments
  • Surface models
  • Measurement protocols and examples


  • Characterisation of thin films using HR-XRD
  • Practical work
  • Discussion of the day's topics

Friday, 5 October   

9:00— 12:30    

  • Advanced studies — Crystalline defects
  • Defect density
  • Diffuse scattering
  • New developments



  • Small angle scattering
  • Examples
  • Discussion of participants' specific concerns


  • Concluding remarks


  • Examination for doctoral school credits



Prof. Alex Dommann & Dr. Antonia Neels (CSEM)

Alex Dommann

Alex Dommann obtained his Ph.D. at ETH Zurich after graduating in solid-state physics and crystallography at the University of Zurich. He was a research fellow at the California Institute of Technology and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a research scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute and at ETH Zurich's Laboratorium für Festkörperphysik. In 1991, he was appointed Professor of materials research at the Interstate University of Applied Sciences Buchs, where he was Scientific Head of the Institute for Microsystems from 1997—2004. In 2005, he was appointed CTO of CSEM in Neuchâtel. Since 2008, together with Nico de Rooij, he has been heading the new Microsystems Technology division at CSEM.
Prof. Dommann's main research interests are structuring, coating and characterisation of thin films and MEMS structures. His research has led to a variety of new semiconductor structuring and coating processes as well as significant contributions to thin films characterisation and aging of MEMS. He is a member of different national and international technical and scientific committees.

Antonia Neels

Antonia Neels studied chemistry at the Humboldt-University of Berlin between 1986 and 1991. She obtained a PhD. thesis from the University of Neuchâtel in 1995. She then held a postdoctoral position at the Texas A & M University with Prof. A. Clearfield. Since 1996 she has been appointed Maître Assistante at the University of Neuchâtel in the group of Prof. Helen Stoeckli-Evans. She has been leading the XRD laboratory at the IMT EPFL (ex-UniNE) / CSEM since 2006.
Her research activities are related to structural characterization, quality control and reliability, which are key issues for the industrialization of Microsystems. The main research focus is on strain and defect mobility in semiconductor devices and the study of the structure — property relationship in thin film systems. She is an expert in XRD techniques and applications and has experience in leading national and international research projects.

Who should attend

Industrial and academic engineers, Ph.D students and R&D staff.
The number of participants is limited to a maximum of 16.

Practical information

The participation fee is 150 CHF for doctoral students, for CCMX industrial members and for academic researchers from Swiss universities and research institutions.

The registration fee for all other participants is 1'000 CHF.

Doctoral students may get 1 credit unit depending on acceptance from their Doctoral School and provided they pass the examination to be held on  5 October 2012 after the course.

Cancellation Conditions

If after registration, you find that you are unable to attend, the following cancellation rules apply:

  • Up to 10 days before the course
  • Full refund of the programme fee.
  • Within 10 days before the start of the course
  • 50% refund of the programme fee.
  • After the course has started or if a participant does not attend
  • No refund.

A participant can be substituted on the same programme session without incurring any fees. The substitute must inform Nathalie Jongen in writing by email before the course starts.


If you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact Nathalie Jongen (021 693 4696).




Bâtiment MX
Station 12
CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel. + 41 21 693 46 56
Questions? E-mail us.