Nanomicroscopy Center's Training & Services

Instruments at Nanomicroscopy Center are available for external users. Researchers from universities are trained to use the instruments by themselves.
Nanomicroscopy center building

Becoming a user

A basic training is required for all users who wish to use the instruments at Nanomicroscopy Center. Once the permission is given, the user is added to the reservation system and he/she can reserve the instrument.

The training can be usually given by a colleague, the instrument operator, or Nanomicroscopy Center staff. Check with a member of the staff for what is the correct procedure. Training given by Nanomicroscopy Center staff is billed with operator fee. We advise to bundle 1-3 students together for a training session. The length of the training session depends on the instrument. For easier instruments it may take an hour or two while for the TEMs the training typically takes several hours. The Nanomicroscopy Center is not a full service imaging center for university researchers, but rather a place where the researchers can come to work and collaborate using world-class instruments. The active participation of users to the care and maintenance of the instruments is essential to the operation of the center.

The hourly compensation fee is a transparent way to distribute the running costs of the center to different schools and departments. Instrument hours are billed to research groups / units based on the data in the reservation system. Academic users are required to acknowledge the Nanomicroscopy Center in all publications (articles, theses), where data gathered in the center is published. "We acknowledge the provision of facilities and technical support by Aalto University at OtaNano - Nanomicroscopy Center (Aalto-NMC)." We request that information about new publications would be sent also to Nanomicroscopy Center staff, so we can update the publication list.

Collaborative research

In some cases, it is also possible to agree on collaboration on a specific research project. In this case the operators and microscope hours are typically paid by the Nanomicroscopy Center. However, this option is only suitable to situation when there is special interest from the operator to participate on the collaboration. This typically requires some novel insight into a material or the development of a new microscopy technique. The collaboration should lead to at least one scientific publication and the operator plus his/her supervisor are included as authors on the paper.

Please send your collaboration requests to [email protected].

OtaNano and NMC are key partners in providing facilities and service for Aalto X-ray scattering center. Visit the X-ray scattering center web page for additional support in X-ray scattering related characterization and research.

Aalto logo shaped 2D scattering pattern of an aluminium foil measured at Aalto NMC, OtaNano

X-ray Scattering Center

Find out the X-ray scattering resources, people, and facilities at Aalto University.


Researchers coming from abroad and other cities

It is also possible to arrange more intensive microscopy training for exchange researchers coming from abroad or other cities in Finland. Typically a researcher might want to learn on e.g. cryo-TEM techniques and spends 1-2 weeks at the Nanomicroscopy Center. These situations are considered case by case and you should contact Dr. Jani Seitsonen to agree on the details.

Additional training

The basic training is focused on basic usage of the instrument and therefore the participants use training samples provided by the instructor. It is also possible to request additional training, where an emphasis can be put on in which way to image your samples specifically. the cost is normal microscope fee plus operator hours. Please contact the appropriate operator for more information.


In addition to instrument-specific training, it is possible to participate on courses. We arrange both entry-level and advanced courses along with occasional work shops on specific topics.

Industry and companies

Paid imaging service

Companies and industrial institutes often wish to have their samples imaged as quickly as possible and do not have time and money to maintain their own microscope operators. In this case, paid imaging service is a popular option. We have operators who are experts in using the microscopes. Each imaging service is agreed upon individually, yet the preliminary pricing can be checked from the price list - the operator fee is added to the normal industrial microscopy price. In addition also used operator time for sample preparation is charged.

Please send your requests to [email protected].

User training

Of course, also companies are welcome to train their own operators, who can then use the microscopes at the regular commercial fee. All trained users have full and equal access to the Nanomicroscopy Center premises and freely reserve microscope time. There are no privileged users or microscope hours reserved to certain user groups.

Please send your training requests to [email protected].

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