Analytical Instruments

Advanced materials with complex interfaces, layer structures or small features are often needed to significantly improve products.

To characterize these materials dedicated analytical instruments with high spatial resolution, depth profiling capabilities, high surface sensitivity and great imaging are needed. Surface analytical techniques and Optical Photothermal Infrared (O-PTIR) Spectroscopy  offers these capabilities and are therefore widely used, to characterize advanced materials. Our techniques cover a spatial resolution from a few nm to the µm range.

These techniques include:

  • X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS/HAXPES)
  • Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)
  • Auger electron spectroscopy (AES)
  • Recycling preparative High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for organic analysis
  • 3D X-Ray Tomography
  • Time-gated Raman Spectroscopy
  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

Surface Analysis

Surface Analysis techniques help you to understand the composition of the outer most atomic layers of a material which plays a critical role in properties such as: chemical activity, adhesion, wettability, electrostatic behavior, corrosion resistance, bio-compatibility, etc.

XPS, TOF-SIMS and AES are the classical surface analysis techniques. They detect electrons or ions emitted from the surface using different excitation beams. Typical is the characterization and imaging of chemical and elemental composition.

The ability to characterize thin film structures, via sputter depth profiling, provides a unique opportunity to examine the materials used in thin layers and to study their interaction with materials in adjacent layers.

All Surface Analysis techniques require ultra-high vacuum.

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Atomic Force Microscopy – AFM

With ICSPI’s nGauge and Redux Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), nanoscale imaging has never been easier.

The devices enable you to collect 3D nanoscale surface data on your benchtop – in three clicks:

Sweep – Approach – Scan

Rapidly characterize the micro and nanoscale morphology and distribution of materials in composites and multiphase polymers.

The instruments are suitable for both R&D and industrial applications, providing unprecedented ease-of-use, throughput, and value.

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Organic Analysis

Preparative chromatography is used to purify sufficient quantities of a substance. The key to improve separation in Preparative HPLC is the column length. However, there is a limit in column length due to back pressure. To solve this, recycling technique can be applied. With recycling technique, the chromatographic resolution increases by the square root of number of passes through the column and there is no solvent consumption.

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Time-gated Raman Spectroscopy

Raman Spectroscopy is a non-destructive, fast and easy to use material characterization method. Raman spectra are unique fingerprints of solid, liquid or gaseous specimen and might give answers to the questions:

  • What is it? (Qualitative analysis)
  • How much? (Quantitative analysis)

Via inelastic scattering of the incident laser light it provides detailed information about vibrational and rotational states of the material and show:

  • Chemical structure
  • Composition
  • Doping
  • Crystallinity and crystal orientation
  • Molecular interactions

In many cases, fluorescence and/or thermal emission is a barrier to successful Raman analysis. But: Don’t worry, time is on your side!

Be faster than Fluorescence with Time-gated Raman Spectroscopy!

The Timegated® Raman spectrometer with picosecond range pulsed excitation and a time-resolved single-photon counting detector creates a totally new type of spectrometer which is able to acquire Raman spectra with real fluorescence suppression capability.

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3D X-Ray Tomography

Industrial 3D X-Ray Computed Tomography is a very effective, non-destructive method to look inside complex parts. In the CT system, x-rays are used to shine through your sample. Depending on the material, there is a different level of absorbance of x-rays which results in a 2D image as we all know it from the doctor. To obtain a full 3D image, the sample is rotated during the imaging process. In the end, the 3D image is reconstructed using state-of-the-art software.

It is possible to analyze material properties like porosity, make hidden defects visible, or measure internal structures.

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In Situ Nanoindentation

In Nanoindentation, a sample is indented with a small diamond tip (tip radius some nm). In Situ Nanoindentation means mechanical characterization inside a microscope.

The In Situ Nanoindenters are compact, robust, versatile and can be fitted to various kinds of microscopes such as Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM), light microscopes, Synchrotron beamlines, and many more. In Situ Nanoindentation can give more information on the formation and propagation of mechanically induced dislocations and defects during the experiment.

The idea of nanoindentation arose from the realization that an indentation test is an excellent way to measure very small volumes of materials

Experimental Aspects

  • Successfully address metrology challenges like Mechanical Strength (Modulus, Hardness, Fracture)
  • Interfacial Adhesion and Pore size distribution
  • Characterize microstructural changes with sub-nanometer resolution in an in-situ vacuum environment
  • Characterize the mechanical properties of surfaces or structures
  • Characterize organic, inorganic, soft or hard materials and coatings
  • Nanomechanical characterization with direct observation in a SEM
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AFM- in – SEM

Complex, yet time-efficient analysis and characterization of structures at the nanoscale is possible only by advanced correlative imaging and automation across various instruments. The AFM-in-SEM approach merges Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy into one tool that combines the capabilities of both techniques.

  • One shot measurement 3D CPEM
  • In-situ 3D surface characterization
  • Surface roughness estimation
  • Heigh/depth profiling
  • Precise AFM tip navigation
  • Electric, electro-mechanical or mechanical properties

NenoVision’s unique LiteScope™, the most advanced AFM- in – SEM on the market.

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Contact us

Physical Electronics GmbH
Salzstraße 8
85622 Feldkirchen near Munich

Telephone: +49 89 96275 0

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