Useful info for Nanospectroscopy Users

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. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 January 2022 12:26