Useful info for Nanospectroscopy Users

On Proposal Submission

We invite users and collaborators to discuss their proposals with the beamline local contacts well in advance before the submission deadline. This is crucial for a careful assessment of the experiment feasibility and may result in an improvement of the proposal. In a restricted number of cases, when doubts arise about the suitability of your samples or the planned measurements are too close to the microscope resolution limit, we can arrange a feasibility test. Please read carefully our guidelines for proposal submission.

Call for proposals

The deadline for proposal submission for beamtime allocation is to be announced

Access Request

Users and collaborators coming to Nanospectroscopy for experiments are requested to fill the dedicated Access Request Form. Timing for the submission of the Access Request varies according to Users Categories: General Users, EU Funded Users, Research Team Members and Collaborators must submit their Access Form at least two weeks before the experiment. Italian Users must submit their Access Request form at least one month before the experiment. Note that in order to be able to enter the Elettra Laboratory, your access request must be approved. Instructions for different user categories can be found on the User Office webpages following our quick links.

How to get to the Elettra Laboratory

from Trieste Airport 46 km pdf
from Venice Airport 156 km pdf
from Treviso Airport 165 km pdf
from Ljubljana Airport 112 km pdf
from Trieste, by bus 11 km pdf

Guidelines for Proposal Submission

When to apply

The Call for Proposals deadline occurs twice a year, on March 15 and September 15. The exact dates are advertised on this website.

Peer Review evaluation

The proposals are reviewed by an independent Panel, the Elettra Proposal Review Panel (PRP), after their feasibility has been assessed by the beamline coordinators. The PRP is composed of experts in various fields of synchrotron radiation research evaluates the scientific merit of the proposals. The main criteria for evaluation are the following: expected impact of the experiments, topicality, probability to produce one or more publications on highly cited scientific journals, potential to help solving important technologically or socially relevant problems, possible development of a new application of synchrotron radiation.


In order to find out the latest news on the financial support options that are available please visit the Elettra User Office web pages. Partial support schemes for Italian users are currently available. A dedicated scheme for non EC members is provided by the ICTP. Unfortunately, EC support is currently unavailable.

Submission on VUO

Proposals must be uploaded and submitted on the Elettra Virtual Unified Office (VUO). Before writing a proposal, you and your collaborators must register on the VUO. Proposal requiring Nanospectroscopy will be performed with the SPELEEM microscope on the first beamline branch.

Feedback from the local contacts

In order to be able to get back to you with feedback on the proposal feasibility, we warmly encourage you to upload your proposal on VUO at least one week before the deadline. Interaction with the local contacts is highly recommended. Don't hesitate to discuss with us the experimental plan in great detail.

Experiment feasibility

Read carefully the information on the Nanospectroscopy web pages, especially that concerning the beamline energy range, resolution, and the microscope lateral resolution (available in the specifications section). Consider that there are some important restrictions on what can be evaporated in the microscope experimental chamber, as well as to the maximum gas pressure that is allowed during measurements.

Sample suitability

It is very important is to keep in mind that not all samples are suitable for XPEEM experiments and special requirements have to be fulfilled. Samples must be conductive and resistant to radiation damage. It is essential that they are free from field emitters and tips. The sample geometry must also satisfy basic requirements. Lithographically patterned samples have to be carefully designed.

Arranging a feasibility test

Sometimes it is difficult to predict whether an experiment will work or not. When doubts arise about the samples or the proposed measurements are too close to the microscope resolution limit, we will try to arrange a test for you.

Proposal objectives

Most importantly, every proposal needs to have clear and achievable goals. This means that the proposal must address a well-focused scientific problem or a debated, unanswered issue in the literature.

Preparation work is necessary!

It is not recommended to start studying a new system during the proposal, without carrying out the necessary preparation work. In other words, better not to come here fishing for unexpected intriguing results.

Experimental plan

The experimental plan must be realistic and well organized, capable to deliver achievable goals.

(Nanostructure) size matters!

The proposed experiments should be not too demanding in terms of the microscope lateral resolution, but can produce a useful output to your research goals. Experiments on nanostructures smaller than 60 nm (twice as much the best lateral resolution of the microscope) may be misleading or ambiguous. Sample drifts and other instabilities may in fact degrade the microscope lateral resolution. Field induced distortion may also affect the imaging of very small particles.

Modifying our instrument

New instrumental developments need special and careful preparation. They have to be organized in close coordination with the beamline responsible. 

After your proposal is accepted

Scheduling accepted proposals

The beamline coordinator takes care of contacting all of the users whose proposals have been accepted, following the rank indicated by the Review Panel. We try to arrange the beamtime calendar taking care of the experimental requirements and individual needs.

Sending us your instrumentation

During the scheduling of the various proposals, we carefully check with you whether we have all the necessary equipment for  experiments. In the case further instrumentation needs to be installed, you should send it in time for the experiments (please follow the instructions given in the contacts section). Typically, we need to mount your Knudsen cells or evaporators, or replace the evaporant with one of ours. It is likely that we need to receive your apparatus at least a month in advance. This happens because we can bake the system only during machine shutdowns.

Preparation of the experiments

In the case of complex experiments, e.g. experiments that require lengthy preparation, arrangements can be made for you to begin to work a few days earlier than the official beginning of the beamtime. This might be useful when in-situ sample preparation is needed, or for the calibration of evaporators, or if complex instrumentation needs to be installed. Depending on the time available, we can arrange some preparatory experiments using LEEM and related methods. All of this is discussed with the beamline coordinator at the time of scheduling the proposal.

Important note concerning funding

Funding agencies normally refund expenses in the time interval one day prior and after the beamtime. Thus, in the case you arrive earlier, your expenses ARE NOT COVERED. We invite you to check this with the Elettra User Office.

Before your arrival

The user office webpages offer you advice on several topics regarding your staying at Elettra, including accommodation, car rental and how to reach the Elettra site.

Fill the Access Request in advance!

Most importantly, don't forget to fill in the Access Request from. Timing for the submission of the Access Request varies according to Users Categories: General Users, Research Team Members and Collaborators must submit their Access Form at least two weeks before the experiment. Italian Users must submit their Request at least one month before the experiment.

Contact us

Don't forget to contact us, so that we can arrange an appointment to meet at the beamline!

Backing up your data

After the beamtime, the data will be stored on hard disk for a minimum time of 1 year. Remember to copy the data before leaving Elettra. This is most easily done by connecting a hard drive to the data acquisition computer or copying your data on a DVD support. The computer can write DVD+R and DVD+RW as well as all types of CDs. Please understand that we cannot supply DVDs to all users, so please bring your own. In most cases one or two DVDs (4.7 GB) are enough to back up the results of a beamtime.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 January 2022 12:26