The AMCC has a range of microscopes available for your characterization needs. The TEM and SEM provide the ability to image objects from 5nm-5cm.  If the material is sensitive to damage from the electron beams or 3D visualization is desired, then our AFM can provide these details. The AMCC also houses X-ray diffractometers to analyze crystal structures and light scattering instruments to study size distribution.

Scanning Electron Microscope/Focused Ion Beam

The SCIOS Dual-Beam Scanning Electron Microscope/ Focused Ion Beam is a powerful research tool which allows for high resolution imaging as well as sample sectioning. Some of the features include:

  • Imaging Detectors: In-lens (T1, T2), CBS/ABS (Backscatter), ETD (Secondary), STEM w/ HAADF
  • FIB milling with Gallium LMIS
  • Platinum Deposition
  • Easy-Lift Needle Manipulator for TEM lammelas
  • EDX Elemental Analysis to indentify which elements are present in the sample
  • EBSD for grain orientation mapping (3D available)
  • Nability E-Beam Lithography

Scanning Electron Microscope (Low-Vac)

The FEI XL-30 provides high resolution imaging for both conductive and non-conductive samples (in Low-Vac mode). The XL-30 is equipted with an EDAX elemental analysis detector to provide compositional information of samples.

Transmission Electron Microscope

The CM-20 TEM provides sub-nanometer resolution for samples with a thickness less than 1 micron.

  • includes EDX Elemental Analysis
  • Orius CCD
  • Lab6 200Kv electron gun
  • Single and Double Tilt sample holders

Atomic Force Microscope

Atomic Force microscopy is an imaging and surface probing technique, used to determine sample roughness, suface imaging and force spectroscopy via nano-indentation. 3D imaging is possible for samples with sample height variations of less than 4 microns.

For an introduction to Scanning Probe Microscopy, consult the SPM notebook.


Sample size

Up to 200 mm diameter and 12 mm thick


  • Tapping
  • Contact AFM
  • Force Modulation
  • Fluid Contact AFM
  • Fluid Tapping

Optical System

  • 410-1845X magnification range
  • Color video camera
  • Motorized zoom system

X-Ray Diffractometers

X'Pert MPD and X'Pert Pro

  • Tube type: Cu with long line focus (wavelength = 1.54056 A)
  • Jade analysis suite with ICDD PDF 4 database
  • Normal Operating Power 45kV, 40mA

Analysis Software

MDI’s Jade is a full quantification program for X-Ray Diffraction data. Access over 300,000 known phases in the accompanying ICDD diffraction database to correctly identify unknown material.  Utilize the built-in whole pattern fitting functionality to quantify compound components, observe and manipulate data with ease, and prepare reports with a variety of graphical options.

Dynamic and Static Light Scattering

The Malvern CGS-3 provides the ability to measure the following important characteristics of particles or molecules in a liquid medium.

Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)

  • Hydrodynamic size
  • Diffusion coefficient
  • Polydispersity index
  • Particle size distribution

Static Light Scattering (SLS)

  • Molecular weight
  • Radius of gyration
  • 2nd virial coefficient

Thermogravimetric Analyzer/ Mass Spectrometer

Thermogravimetric analysis is a tool used to study degradation in polymers and ceramics. Using this technique, we can track the change in weight of the sample, with increase in temperature. The mass spectrometer in combination with thermogravimetric analysis is used for real-time analysis of gases released during sample degradation.

  • Automated instrument for complex TGA operations, lower-level detection of impurities, kinetics studies, off-gas analysis, and high heating rate operation
  • Dynamic range: 100mg
  • Temperature range: Ambient to 800oC
  • Sample pans: Platinum-HT, 100µL
  • Vacuum: 10-2 torr
  • Gases: Oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen