The module "Micro- and Nano-Characterization" is part of the research focus area "Nanostructured Materials". The objective of this module is to operate and develop cutting edge characterisation tools and techniques for characterisation at the micro-/nanometre scale while maintaining high-standard micro/nanoscale analytical measurement equipment open to internal and external measurement services.
Empa operates a huge park of high-level standard analytical instrumentation for micro- and nanoscale analysis by renowned experts. In parallel, instrumentation and method development for analytical top notch characterisation at nanometre scale is pursued at several Empa laboratories in collaboration with industrial partners; expert knowledge is generally available at consulting level or via collaborative project agreements. Instrumentation and competencies of Empa can be roughly classified into the following categories:
Some of these techniques can be combined with depth profiling. Typical instrumentation operated at Empa comprises: ToF-SIMS (in combination with SEM and AFM), XPS, AES, LEED (in combination with STM), RAMAN (including SERS and TERS), SPM (including STM/STS, AFM, SFM, SAFM), Nano-XAS, RAIRS, LA-ICPMS, SEM (EBSD, EDX, GIS).
Typical instrumentation operated at Empa comprises: X-ray tomography, FEB/FIB tomography, NMR, TEM (STEM, DF, BF, EELS, EDX), Micro- and Nanomechanical Probing (Indentation, Scratching, Bending, Tensile) as well as magnetic and electrical characterization can be performed at specific temperatures. Empa operates a PPMS. Atom- and Plasma spectrometry techniques (GFAAS, ICP-OES, ICP-MS) enable chemical characterization down to ng levels.