Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre


The LiPPS XPS system at the NMRC

nmRC  Facilities

The nmRC is a hub of state-of-the art analytical infrastructure for teaching, research and service provision.

What's at the nmRC?

In addition to acting as a learning and research hub for nano-, micro- and and materials science at the University of Nottingham, the nmRC hosts a number of state-of-the-art research facilities.

The centre is a specialist resource for electron microscopy variants, with vast Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and electron microprobe infrastructure and dedicated technical support.

In addition the centre is also home to advanced Raman Spectroscopy, X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), particle sizing and sample preparation suites. Please follow the links below for more information or additional technical information can be found on the ISAC website, or is internally available to University staff and students via the Kit Catalogue.

The move of the centre in early 2016 to the Cripps South building involves both the relocation of electron microscopes from other locations of campus and the addition of new instruments to the centre. 


The nmRC hosts two XPS systems offering elemental and chemical state characterisation of samples in ultra high vacuum.

The Liquid Phase Photoelectron Spectroscopy (LiPPS) machine installed in 2013 is unique, and is supported by another standard Kratos Analytical Ultra-2008 XPS system.

Raman Spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy is a non-invasive technique that generates a specific fingerprint spectrum through which the molecule or compound can be identified or observed in real-time transitions.

The nmRC houses a LabRam confocal Raman microscope with four different laser wavelengths available. These span the UV-Visible-NIR regions giving the user access to an excitation source to match their sample.

Particle Sizing Suite

The nmRC hosts nano- and micro- particulate sizing infrastructure to support its other analytical resources. These are available to all users to help refine and plan subsequent analyses.


Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) is capable of providing very high resolution images down to a level of several Angstroms (~ 0.19nm). The study of nano-scale morphological and chemical features in cells or different materials down to near atomic levels is possible.

The nmRC currently hosts four TEMS:

  • JEOL 2100F FEGTEM with multiple detectors for imaging and elemental analysis, and holders for in-situ heating, cryo-TEM, and high angle tilt series.
  • JEOL 2100+ TEM for high throughput, high versatility analysis at 80kV or 160kV.
  • JEOL 2000FX - previously hosted in the Wolfson Building. 
  • FEI Tecnai 12 Biotwin - Configured for life sciences electron microscopy, this instrument was previously based in the School of Life Sciences.


The nmRC hosts a wide range (8) of SEMs capable of covering a full spectrum of analytical procedures from imaging biological samples to chemically mapping engineering components.

With long established expertise in cryo-SEM, cryo FIB-SEM and ESEM the nmRC is equipped to deal with a range of challenging samples and procedures including:

Hydrated / uncoated sample analysis, FIB-milling / FIB-lift out processing, EDX and WDX analysis, EBSD, FEG-SEM imaging, heating/cooling/tensile imaging etc.

Sample Preparation Lab

The nmRC is equipped with a sample preparation laboratory to support the electron microscopy and chemical analysis taking place in the centre. Supported processes include:

Sputter coating, evaporation coating, critical point drying, resin embedding, microtomy and ultramicrotomy, polishing, grinding etc.


Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre

Cripps South building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 6340
email: nmrcenquiries@nottingham.ac.uk