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Characterize materials, thin films, structures, and devices from nanometer to millimeter scales using our extensive set of microscopy and spectroscopy tools.

Transmission Electron Microscope: FEI Titan Analytical TEM

The FEI TitanTM 80-300 S/TEM is an advanced field emission scanning/transmission electron microscope capable of atomic-level imaging and analysis of a wide range of materials and nanostructures. The tool can take specimens that are less than or equal to 3 mm in size and thinned to electron transparency.

  • TEM mode, STEM mode, electron diffraction modeTitan Tem
  • Variable acceleration voltage: 80 kV - 300 kV (currently aligned for 80 kV, 200 kV, 300 kV)
  • Information Limit: 0.10 nm
  • Point Resolution: 0.20 nm @ 300 kV
  • STEM resolution: 0.136 nm @ 300 kV
  • Gatan Orius digital camera (2k x 2k)
  • Fischione high angle annular dark field STEM detector for Z-contrast imaging
  • Gatan GIF Quantum energy filter for EELS and EFTEM (chemical analysis)
  • EDAX energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometer
  • Tomography acquisition, reconstruction, and analysis software
  • Analytical, heating, cooling, and tomography specimen holders
  • Near atomic-level imaging of nanomaterials
  • Nanoscale chemical and elemental analysis of nanomaterials, semiconductors, interfaces
  • Imaging and analysis of biomaterials
  • 3-dimensional imaging
Demonstrated use: Carbon nanotubes, graphene, nanoparticles, solar cells, semiconductors, DNA

Atomic Force Microscope: Bruker FastScan

The Bruker FastScan wafer scale AFM has the capability to perform non-destructive, nanoscale surface topography and related measurements at several sites across a 200 mm-diameter wafer in short time.  This new AFM can be used to characterize the surface roughness after thin film coating and surface patterns after lithography and etching processes.

Selected Scanning Modes:Image of new Bruker FastScan AFM
  • Tapping Mode (air and fluid)
  • Phase Imaging
  • Contact Mode
  • Lateral Force Microscopy
  • Lift Mode
  • MFM
  • EFM
  • Force Spectroscopy
  • Nanomechanical properties
  • Manipulation and lithography
  • Nanoscale quality control for material manufacturing and Micro/Nanofabrication
  • Failure analysis
  • Time propagation of a nanoscale object or structure, as a function of external conditions or stimuli
  • Map and distinguish quanitatively or relatively at high scan rates between nanomechanical properties while simultaneously imaging sample topography at high resolution
  • Electrical characterization at the nanoscale for greater sensitivity, resolution, and dynamic range
  • Perform manipulation and lithography at the nanometer and molecular scales

Demonstrated Use: Nanofabrication structures characterization

Atomic Force Microscope: Asylum Cypher

The Asylum Cypher high resolution AFM offers improved measurement resolution and improved ability to adapt the AFM hardware and programming to the needs of researchers. The AFM is not only a surface characterization tool that uses a nanometer scale probe tip to scan the surface of a material to measure surface topology at the nanoscale, it is also able to measure bulk properties such as conductivity, magnetic, and thermal-mechanical.

Selected Scanning Modes:Image of new Asylum Cypher AFM
  • Contact Mode
  • Tapping Mode
  • Force curve acquisition and mapping in contact or tapping mode
  • Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM)
  • Electric Force Microscopy (EFM)
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
  • Surface Potential measurement
  • Nanolithography and Nanomanipulation functions
  • Frequency Modulation (FM)
  • Surface Roughness measurement
  • Electrical Measurements
  • Piezoresponse Force Mapping
  • Photoconductivity of Organic Photovoltaics
  • Electrochemical Strain Mapping of Li-ion Conductive Materials
  • Stretching DNA mapping
  • Drug Research
  • Biomedicine
  • Food Research
  • Viscoelastic Mapping of Sample Mechanical Properties
  • Measuring Nanoscale Mechanical Properties for Diverse Materials
  • Force Spectroscopy
  • Nanolithography and Nanomanipulation
  • Sample characterization in fluid
Demonstrated Use: Surface roughness and property characterization

Atomic Force Microscope: Veeco Dimension 3100

A tool used to characterize the material surface, nanostructures generated by nanofabrication. Nanomanipulation and nanolithography. The tool can take samples up to 200 mm in diameter and 12 mm in thickness.
Veeco Dimension 3100

Selected Scanning Modes
  • Contact mode, Tapping mode™, Phase imaging™
  • Electrostatic force microscopy
  • Magnetic force microscopy
  • Nanomanipulation and nanolithography
Selected Applications:
  • Surface roughness characterization for thin films
  • Pattern characterization for lithography structures, magnetic media, CD/DVDs
  • Structure characterization for polymers, biomaterials and other samples
  • Nanomanipulation and nanolithography using AFM tip

Demonstrated Use: Nanomagnetic media and Nanofabrication structures characterization

The Wyatt Technology nanoparticle characterization system integrates several methods of field flow fractionation and light scattering to separate and measure nanoparticles in solution.  To separate a nanoparticle sample with a highly polydisperse size distribution into sub-samples of nanoparticles of nearly monodisperse size, the system will perform either hollow fiber flow field flow fractionation (HF5) or asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4).  To measure the nanoparticle size distribution, the system can perform simultaneous static and dynamic light scattering measurements under nominally identical experimental conditions on the monodisperse sub-samples of nanoparticles.  The system implements a high degree of automation and temperature control throughout the nanoparticle characterization process.

Applications:Picture of Wyatt Dynamic Light Scattering/Field Flow Fractionation Tool

  • Molar mass determination of polymers, biopolymers, and nanoparticles.
  • Separation of polydisperse solutions.
  • Multi-angle static light scattering and dynamic light scattering measurements.
  • Differential refractive index (dRI) and UV determinations to measure sample concentrations.
  • Nanoparticle number densities.
  • Calculate polydispersity values.
  • Determine protein mass and fraction for protein conjugates.
  • Calculate oligomeric (e.g. aggregate) fraction distributions.


  • 24 bit analog to digital signal processing converters for maximum noise rejection without signal distortion of light scattering and auxiliary signals.
  • 120 mW GaAs diode laser (658 nm wavelength) for increased signal-to-noise.
  • Multi angle detector: 18 angles
  • Molar mass range: 103 g / mole (Daltons) to 109 g / mole (Daltons)
  • Molecular and nanoparticle radius range: ≈ 0.5 nm to 500 nm

Scanning Electron Microscope: Zeiss Ultra-60 Field Emission SEM

High performance research grade field emission SEM for imaging

  • Zeiss Ultra-60 FESEM
  • Digital system with full function computer control
  • Extra large 6 axes motorized stage
  • Integrated 150 mm airlock for fast sample throughput
  • High efficiency in lens secondary detector for high contrast imaging
  • Energy Selective backscattered electron detector
  • Resolution: 1.5 nm at 15 keV
  • Magnification: 10x to 106x
  • Oxford 80 mm2 X-Maxx Silicon Drift Energy Dispersive X-ray detector for elemental composition and mapping
  • Measurement and inspection of nanometer level structures
  • Can accommodate substrates from small pieces to 150 mm wafers
Demonstrated use: Nanolithography inspection, MEMs, Etch cross-sections

X-ray Diffraction: Rigaku SmartLab 9 kW

Rigaku Smart Lab 9 kW Thin Film X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) System High resolution, multi-purpose x-ray diffractometer

  • 9 kW rotating anode x-ray generator, 20 kV - 45 kV, 10 mA - 200 mARigaku SmartLab
  • High-speed position sensitive detector system
  • High accuracy theta-theta goniometer
  • In plane diffraction arm for in plane measurements
  • Focusing and parallel beam geometries
  • Anton Paar domed hot stage operating from room temperature to 1100 °C in vacuum, air and inert gas
  • Bragg Brentano powder diffraction: Determine the composition of all types of epitaxial and polycrystalline thin films.
  • High resolution XRD (HRXRD): Determine the structure of epitaxial thin films including film composition, thickness, orientation, and superlattice period. Characterize the defects in epitaxial thin films such as mismatch, lattice strain relaxation, misorientation, dislocation density, surface damage, and curvature
  • X-ray reflectivity (XRR): Determine the thin film layer thickness, surface and interface roughness, density or composition of the top most layer
  • Rocking Curves: Determine the composition and defects in epitaxial or nearly perfect epitaxial films
  • Grazing Incidence XRD (GIXRD): Determine the composition, defects, and crystallite size of polycrystalline thin films and lattice strain in highly textured polycrystalline films
  • In Plane Grazing Incidence XRD: Determine the composition, defects, orientation and residual stress in textured polycrystalline thin films
  • Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS): Determine the size and size distribution of nano materials

Stress Measurement Tool: Toho Technology FLX-2320

A laser reflection-based surface curvature and stress measurement tool.

Film stress determined by the change in wafer curvature between pre-and post-deposition of film. Curvature is measured by reflected laser beam.

Applications:Toho Technology FLX-2320
  • Film coating stress measurement
  • Stress as a function of time or temperature
  • Stress on multiple films
  • Stress mapping
  • Silicon wafer deformation after grinding
  • Temperature range: -65 °C to 500 °C
  • Wafer size: 75 mm to 200 mm
  • Speed: 6 seconds/wafer
  • Range: 1 MPa to 4000 MPa (107 dy/cm2 to 4 x 1010 dy/cm2)
  • Repeatability: 1 MPa
Demonstrated use: Stress characterization of silicon nitride membranes; Minimization of stress in multilayer metal films

Spectroscopic Ellipsometer: Woollam M-2000

This system provides fast and accurate thin film characterization over a wide spectroscopic range. The system's high speed CCD collects data that can be used to determine film thickness, index of refraction, and extinction coefficient on single or multilayer film stacks using the system's user-friendly modeling software.

Features:Woollam M-2000
  • Substrate size: up to 200 mm
  • Automated XY sample translation
  • Automated tip-tilt alignment
  • Automated sample height alignment
  • Automated angle adjust ranging from 45° to 90°
  • Wavelength range: 193 nm to 1690 nm
  • Focusing probes available to reduce measurement beam down to 300 µm
  • High speed CCD
  • Camera to view light beam location
  • User friendly software for data acquisition and data analysis
  • Thin film characterization
  • Measures thickness and optical constants on single or multi-layer stacks
  • Film uniformity mapping
  • Film growth, deposition and etch rate
Demonstrated use: Characterization of oxides, photoresists, nitrides, polymers, metals, other thin films

Nanospec Reflectometer: Nanometrics

Nanospec Reflectometer

  • Measures thickness of films such as silicon dioxide, photoresist and nitride.

Profilometer: Bruker Dektak XT

This system is used to measure step height and determine thin film thickness.

Features:Bruker Dektak XT
  • Up to 200 mm (8 in-diameter) wafers
  • Stylus force 0.01 mg to 15 mg
  • Tip radius sizes 0.7 µm, 2.5 µm and 12.5 µm
  • Motorized X-Y stage
  • Motorized stage rotation
  • 50 mm scans with stitching capability
  • Full wafer mapping up to 150 mm with auto-location
  • 3-D measurement
  • Vertical measurement range up to 1 mm
  • Resolution 0.1 nm
  • Thin film thickness
  • Surface roughness
  • Stress measurement
  • Etch rate and uniformity measurement
  • Film growth rate and uniformity measurement

Contact Profilometer: Dektak 6M

This system is used to measure step heights by profilometry.

  • Up to 150 mm (6 in) wafersContact Profilometer
  • Stylus force 1 mg - 15 mg
  • Tip radius sizes 0.7 µm, 2.5 µm, and 12.5 µm
  • Surface characterization of MEMS, semiconductors and other thin/thick films
  • Vertical measurement range of up to 1 mm

Demonstrated use: Measurement of Etch rates, Deposition rates, Film growth rates, Surface roughness

Parametric Test Station:Keithley 4200 SCS

Keithley 4200 parametric test system provides users with in-line electrical characterization capabilities, including the ability to measure capacitance at multiple frequencies, and to measure both DC and ultra-fast pulsed currents and voltages.

Applications: Keithley 4200 SCS
  • Measure capacitance at multiple frequencies
  • Measure both DC and ultra-fast pulsed currents and voltages
  • Dark box for light sensitive measurements
  • Heated chuck to allow measurements up to 300 °C
Demonstrated Use:
  • CV Analysis
  • Pulsed IV
  • Pattern Short/Open Testing

Contact Angle Goniometer

The FTA32 goniometer provides video-based contact angle and surface tension measurement. Contact angles are measured by fitting a mathematical expression to the shape of a drop and then calculating the slope of the tangent to the drop at the liquid-solid-vapor (LSV) interface line. Computer software drop shape analysis gives contact angle without operator intervention or judgement.

Applications: Contact Angle Goniometer
  • Contact angle measurement
  • Surface tension calculation
  • Liquid drop shape analysis
Demonstrated Use: Nanoimprint mold treatment; Polymer surface wetting property

Table-top SEM: Hitachi TM-1000

Bridges gap between high power optical scope and standard SEM. Ease of use, depth of focus, auto image adjustment and speed (3 min. set-up time)

  • Magnification: 20x - 10000x Table-top SEM
  • Accel. voltage: 15 kV
  • Max sample size: 70 mm
  • Max sample thick: 20 mm
  • Traverse: 15 mm x 18 mm
  • Measurement markers
  • Direct observation of non-conductive samples
  • Stereoscopic observation of surface topography
  • Contrast imaging based on sample atomic number differences
Demonstrated use: MEMs imaging; Inspection of lithography results

Other Microscopes and Probes

Optical microscope with image Capture

Optical Microscope with Image Capture: Nikon

Four-point probe

Four-Point Probes (two units): Jandel RM2

Olympus High Power Inspection Microscope

High Power Inspection Microscopes: Olympus 

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