Advanced Materials Research Group
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Facilities

Electron Beam Instruments

Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy

Philips XL30 FEG ESEM

The XL30 FEG ESEM is a modern PC controlled instrument used widely throughout the University community and by commercial customers. Used in ESEM mode it offers unique advantages over conventional SEMs. Alternatively, the instrument can be used in high vacuum mode as a high resolution conventional SEM with superior imaging over LaB6 and tungsten electron gun sources. The microscope has an Oxford Instruments INCA microanalysis system fitted with a Si(Li) detector and ultra-thin window for light element detection (down to boron) together with programs for a digital X-ray mapping and line scanning) and quantitative elemental analysis.

Specifications

  • Field emission gun (FEG) for high resolution imaging. PC controlled microscope and data acquisition and large sample chamber for bulky samples. Standard SE and BSE detectors in high vacuum mode.
  • ESEM modes comprise wet (water) mode or auxiliary (nitrogen gas) mode. Full range of detectors in ESEM mode including GSED. Modern state-of-the-art EDX microanalysis system. SEM image transfer via USB pen drive.
  • Standard digital image size: 340KB; pixel/image format: 712 x 484/TIF. High resolution image format (1.4 MB) is also available.

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 103

Contacts

Nigel Neate
t: 0115 9513759
e: nigel.neate@nottingham.ac.uk

Nicola Weston
t: 0115 9513759
e: nicola.weston@nottingham.ac.uk

Martin Roe
t: 0115 9513768
e: martin.roe@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Scanning Electron Microscopy

Philips XL30 SEM

The XL30 is a modern PC controlled SEM used extensively in the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing and by the wider University community. The SEM is fitted with an Oxford Instruments INCA EDX microanalysis system and a modern Si(Li) detector, and ultra-thin entrance window for detection of elements down to baron (Z=5). The analysis software includes a quantitative elemental analysis program together with multi-element digital X-ray mapping and line scan programs.

Specifications

  • Tungsten electron gun
  • Standard SE and BSE detectors
  • Large sample chamber
  • PC controlled microscope and data acquisition
  • Image transfer via USB pen drive
  • Standard digital image size: 340KB
  • Pixel format: 712 x 484/TIF
  • High resolution image format (1.4 MB) is also available
  • Modern state-of-the-art EDX Microanalysis System

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 103

JEOL 6400 SEM

The JEOL 6400 SEM is a workhorse instrument widely used by University staff. The SEM is fitted with an Oxford Instruments ISIS EDX microanalysis system comprising a modern Si(Li) detector, with an ultra-thin entrance window for detection of elements down to boron (Z=5). The microanalysis software includes a ZAF quantitative analysis program together with multi-element digital X-ray mapping and line scan software.

Specifications

  • Tungsten filament electron gun
  • Standard SE and BSE detectors
  • Large sample chamber for bulky samples
  • Modern EDX Microanalysis System
  • SEM images, EDX spectra, X-ray maps and line scans can be saved as TIF or BMP files to USB pen drive
  • Digital SEM images saved through ISIS system in a range of resolution formats
  • Image transfer also via videoprinter

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 103.

Contacts

Martin Roe
t: 0115 9513768
e: martin.roe@nottingham.ac.uk

Julie Thornhill
t: 0115 9513759
e: julie.thornhill@nottingham.ac.uk

Nicola Weston
t: 0115 9513759
e: nicola.weston@nottingham.ac.uk

Nigel Neate
t: 0115 9513759
e: nigel.neate@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Transmission Electron Microscopy

JEOL 2000 FX TEM

The JEOL 2000FX is a 200kV analytical TEM used widely by the University community as an important research tool in materials investigations. The 2000FX is fitted with an Oxford Instruments ISIS EDX microanalysis system comprising a modern Si(Li) detector, and ultra-thin window for detection of elements as light as boron (Z=5). The microanalysis software includes a quantitative analysis program for thin film samples and digital X-ray mapping/line scan software.

Specifications

  • LaB6 or tungsten electron gun
  • STEM attachment
  • RHEED stage for diffraction information from bulk samples
  • Low background double tilt/single sample holders and single tilt sample holder for 2 specimen grids
  • Modern EDX microanalysis system
  • EDX spectra, X-ray maps and line scans can be saved as TIF or BMP files to USB pen drive
  • Digital STEM images saved through ISIS system in a range of resolution formats
  • Image transfer is mainly via a plate camera (the negatives are then be digitised using a high resolution scanner also in Room 103)

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 103

Contacts

Nicola Weston
t: 0115 9 513759
e: nicola.weston@nottingham.ac.uk

Nigel Neate
t: 0115 9 513768
e: nigel.neate@nottingham.ac.uk

Martin Roe
t: 0115 9 513768
e: martin.roe@nottingham.ac.uk

 

X-Ray Spectroscopy

X-ray Diffraction

Siemens D500 Diffractometers

The Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing's two Siemens D500 units are workhorse instruments routinely used by postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

Specifications

  • Cu K-alpha radiation source, 1-40kV range
  • Theta-2 Theta goniometer
  • Range of slit widths
  • Nickel filter and diffracted beam crystal monochromator
  • Computerised control of diffractometer and Diffrac-AT peak identification software

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 121

Contacts

Nigel Neate
t: 0115 9513768
e: nigel.neate@nottingham.ac.uk

Bruker D8 Diffractometers

Specifications

  • Cu K-alpha radiation source for both units (1-40 kV rrange), although option to use Cr K-alpha X-rays with the Discover model.  Full computer control with DIFFRAC-PLUS Measurement and DIFFRAC-PLUS Evaluation software packages.
  • Advance model: Theta-theta vertical goniometer.  Three exchangeable stages: standard 9 position sample changer, capillary stage and pressure-temperature cell for hydrogen and other gases.  Exchangeable scintillator or Sol-ex EDX detectors.  Goebel mirror multi-layered crystal for parallel beam optics. 
  • Discover model: Theta-2 theta horizontal goniometer. One-quarter cradle system for high precision specimen tilting and movement. Stress and texture measurements. Scintillator detector.

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 121

Contacts

Nigel Neate
t: 0115 95 13768
e: nigel.neate@nottingham.ac.uk

 

 

Microtomography

MicroCT 40 Scanner (Scanco-Medical)

The desktop MicroCT scanner has been used to characterise the internal structure of various medical, biomedical and pharmaceutical materials but can be used for a variety of organic and inorganic samples with internal structure and porosity.

Specifications

  • Desktop cone-beam MicroCT unit
  • Tungsten microfocus X-ray scource with 5-7 micron spot at 20-50kV
  • Sample size constraints: maximum scan diameter of 37mm and 80mm maximum sample length
  • Insturment resolution (6-72 microns) is dependant on sample holder used
  • Range of image resolution/pixel formats
  • Instrument software includes data acquisition, reconstruction and evaluation, 3D-visualisation and animation and data archiving facilities

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 103

Contacts

Julie Thornhill
t: 0115 9513759
e: julie.thornhill@nottingham.ac.uk

 

X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

VG ESCALab Mark II X-ray Photoelectron and Scanning Auger Spectrometer

The X-ray photoelectron spectrometer is widely used throughout the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing and the wider University community. Researchers are encouraged to use the equipment themselves and training is routinely given. However, when appropriate Martin will analyse small numbers of samples on behalf of individuals who are not in a position to do the work themselves.

Specifications

  • Excitation source: twin Mg/Al anode: Mg K-alpha (hv = 1253.6eV) or Al K-alpha (hv = 1486.6eV)
  • Argon ion gun for depth profiling or cleaning sample surfaces
  • PC controlled spectrometer and data acquisition software (SPECTRA-8)
  • File outputs from SPECTRA-8 can then be converted to the standard VAMAS file format allowing efficient data reduction/peak fitting to be performed in CasaXPS
  • Sensitivity factors relevant to this particular instrument are used for quantification purposes in the CasaXPAS program

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 121

Contacts

Martin Roe
t: 0115 9 513768
e: martin.roe@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Infrared Spectroscopy

Bruker Tensor-27 FT-IR Spectrometer

Specifications

  • Reflectance and transmission operational modes

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 218

Contact

Tom Buss
t: 0115 9513758
e: thomas.buss@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Optical Emission Spectroscopy

WAS AG Foundry-Master Optical Emission Spectrometer

Specifications

  • Under construction

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 218

Contact

Tom Buss/Jason Greaves
t: 0115 9513758
e: thomas.buss@nottingham.ac.uk   Jason.greaves@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Surface and Morphology

Profilometry

Mitutoyo-Surftest SV-600 Profilometer

Specifications

  • Gross surface roughness measurements
  • The surface roughness testing systems compliment the other surface techniques housed within the Wolfson Building such as our optical microscopes

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 206

Contacts

Tom Buss/Jason Greaves
t: 0115 9513758
e: thomas.buss@nottingham.ac.uk  jason.greaves@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Optical Microscopy

Optical Microscope Room

Facilities

  • Two reflectance microscopes and one reflectance-transmission microscope, all with digital cameras and PC image acquisition software. Digital images can be saved electronically and transferred via a USB pen drive.
  • Stereo Zoom microscope.
  • Microhardness Tester for loads up to 1Kg. 

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 216

Research staff from outside the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing wishing to use this equipment must always ask the permission of a technical staff member first.

Contacts

Tom Buss/Jason Greaves
t: 0115 9 513758
e: thomas.buss@nottingham.ac.uk  jason.greaves@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Thermo and Volumetric Analysis

Thermal Analysis (DSC)

DSCQ10 and SDTQ600 (TA Instruments)

Specifications

The DSCQ10 thermal analyser records heat up to 700 degrees. The SDTQ600 (bottom) measures to 1500 degrees and also records thermogravimetric changes. A mass spectrometer is also fitted to the SDTQ600.

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 206

Contacts

Tom Buss/Jason Greaves
t: 0115 9513758
e: thomas.buss@nottingham.ac.uk   jason.greaves@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Dynamic & Thermo Mechanical Analysis

DMAQ800 & TMAQ400 (TA Instruments)

Specifications

The DMAQ800 (top) dynamic mechanical analyser exerts a dynamic force on a sample and allows the change in deformation with temperature to be monitored. The TMAQ400 (bottom) thermal mechanical analyser uses a static force to monitor the change in deformation with temperature.

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 206

Contact

Tom Buss/Jason Greaves 
t: 0115 9513758
e: thomas.buss@nottingham.ac.uk  jason.greaves@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Pure Volume, Pore Size and Surface Area Measurement

Micromeritics Autopore IV Mercury Porosimeter  

Specifications

Porosity determinations on powder and solid samples.

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 206

Contact

Tom Buss/Jason Greaves
t: 0115 9513758
e: thomas.buss@nottingham.ac.uk  jason.greaves@nottingham.ac.uk

Quantachrome AutoSorb-1 Surface Area and Pore Size Analyser  

Specifications

Pore size distribution and surface area analysis using a range of adsorbates including nitrogen and krypton gases. Chemisorption studies are also possible.

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 206

Contacts

Gavin Walker
t: 0115 9513752
e: gavin.walker@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Tom Buss
t: 0115 9513758
e: thomas.buss@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Volume & Density Measurements

Micromeritics AccuPyc-1330 Gas Pycnometer  

Specifications

Volume and density determinations of various sample types.

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 206

Contact

Tom Buss/Jason Greaves
t: 0115 9513758
e: thomas.buss@nottingham.ac.uk   jason.greaves@nottingham.ac.uk

 

Preparation and Processing

EM Preparation Facilities

Fischione 1020 Plasma Cleaner

The plasma cleaner effectively removes hydrocarbon contamination from sample surfaces prior to examination in either TEM or SEM.

Specifications

  • Argon: oxygen (3:1) high frequency plasma
  • Automated timer control
  • Accepts all TEM specimen holders and bulk SEM specimens

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 101

Contacts

Nigel Neate
t: 0115 9513768
e: nigel.neate@nottingham.ac.uk

Martin Roe
t: 0115 9 513768
e: martin.roe@nottingham.ac.uk

Edwards 306 Vacuum Coater (Carbon Evaporator)

Flat and polished samples for SEM and quantitative EDX microanalysis are usually coated with a thin conductive layer of evaported carbon. The carbon is evaported under high vacuum by resistive heating using short bursts of current from a 30V/30A source being passed through a pair of pointed graphite rods that are pressed together. Evaporation of metals such as Cr, Ag, Au and Al is also possible with the Edwards unit.

Specifications

  • High vacuum (diffusion-rotary) pumping system
  • High quality thin carbon coats using pure graphite rods
  • Evaporation of Cr, Ag, Au, Al metals

Location

Wolfson Building

Contacts

Quorum Technologies SC 7640 Auto/Manual Sputter Coater

Specifications

  • Option to use either Au or Pt targets

Location

Wolfson Building

Contacts

 

Fischione 1010 Ion Beam Miller

Specifications

  • Low angle milling (milling angle 0 to 45 degrees)
  • Dual argon ion guns for double or single sided milling
  • Liquid nitrogen-cooled stage for heat-sensitive samples
  • Turbo-molecular pumping system for oil-free vacuum during milling operations

All of the Wolfson's ion beam millers can produce electron transparent sections (down to 100nm thickness) suitable for high-resolution TEM investigations. A wide variety of samples can be prepared in this way.

Location

Wolfson Building

Contact

Gatan 600 Dual Ion Beam Miller

Specifications

  • Option to independentlyy ion mill two samples with two sets of two argon ion guns
  • Liquid nitrogen-cooled stage for heat-sensitive samples
  • Diffusion-rotary pumping system

All of the Wolfson's ion beam millers can produce electron transparent sections (down to 100nm thickness) suitable for high-resolution TEM investigations.  A wide variety of samples can be prepared in this way.

Location

Wolfson Building

Contacts

Fischione 2000 Dimpler

Specifications

  • Flattening wheel and dimpling wheel
  • Thins TEM specimens to approximately 10-20 microns prior to milling

Dimpling is a convenient way of thinning a sample prior to ion beam milling thus reducing millin times down to hours rather than days.

Location

Wolfson Building

Contacts

Southbay Tripod Polisher

Specifications

  • Wedge polishing allows preparation of large thinned areas for TEM
  • The Tripod Polisher has the advantage of producing large thin areas of a sample and significantly reduces the time for ion beam milling

Contacts

 

Bulk Sample Preparation Facilities for Optical/SEM Microscopy

Sample Polishing, Mounting and Etching Laboratory

The laboratory is well equipped for the preparation of bulk specimens both the SEM and optical microscopy. Research staff from outside the department wishing to use this equipment must always ask the permission of a technical staff member first.

Facilities

  • Two MetaServ hot-mounting presses for use with various dry powder resins including conductive mounting resin for SEM.  Various cold-stting Epoxy resins are also available.
  • Struers automated and manual polishing units for use with diamond pastes and silicon polishing media.
  • MetaServ and Struers rotary grinders for use with silicon carbide discs.
  • Wide range of chemical etchants for metallographic samples.
  • Two Struers Accutom Cutting Machines.

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 217

Contact

 

Photographic Services

The above facilities are the department use only. Postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to do their own processing whenever possible and training will be given for this. Digital camera usage is strictly controlled through Julie Thornhill.

Facilities

  • Printing facilities (B&W only): Ilford 500H
  • Enlarger Ilfolab-2150RC Printing Processor
  • B&W film processing of TEM plates and other films
  • Nixon CoolPix 5000 Digital Camera

Location

Wolfson Building, Room 102.

Contact

 

Advanced Materials Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD



email:AdvMaterials@nottingham.ac.uk