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)
  • Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)
  • Auger electron spectroscopy (AES)
  • Simultaneous submicron IR and Raman microscopy
  • Recycling preparative High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for organic analysis
  • 3D X-Ray Tomography
  • Time-gated Raman Spectroscopy

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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Optical Photothermal Infrared Spectroscopy (O-PTIR)

The field of IR spectroscopy just changed!

  • Sub-micron spatial resolution
  • Nondispersive spectra on thick samples
  • Non- contact measurements

How is Sub-micron IR spectroscopy and imaging possible? Optical Photothermal Infrared (O-PTIR) overcomes the IR diffraction limit by combining a mid-IR pulsed, tunable laser that heats the sample. When the IR laser is at a wavelength that excites a molecular vibration in the sample, absorption occurs, thereby creating photothermal effects including photothermal expansion. A visible probe laser, focused to 0.5 µm spot size, measures the photothermal response via the scattered light. The Sub-micron IR Microscope allows the usage of your existing IR database but significantly improve the spatial resolution even down to 500 nm.

Finally, it is possible to use IR Spectroscopy in nanoscale analysis.

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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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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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3D X-Ray Tomography

Computed tomography (CT) is the best way to get a fast, non-destructive and accurate examination of the internal and external structures of components. X-ray micro and nano-CT uses x-rays to create cross-sections of a physical object that can be used to recreate a virtual model (3D model) without destroying the original object. CT systems are widely used for industrial and research applications as well as recognized for their high precision and innovative technology.

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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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Contact us

Physical Electronics GmbH
Salzstraße 8
85622 Feldkirchen near Munich

Your contact person: Thomas Groß
Telefon: +49 89 96275 0

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