Equipment

NIBEC has a large range of state of the art equipment. Details of some of the key items can be found here.

A list of the key pieces of equipment available at NIBEC is shown below. If you are interested in accessing any of this equipment please contact us.

To access the online booking system click here

Bruker Sky Scan MicroCT

SkyScan systems from Bruker allow you to cut virtual sections or even fly through samples non-destructively.

No preparation, coating or vacuum treatment is needed.

This technique allows the creation of 3D images of a sample's structure with a submicron resolution.

It can analyse a range of sample types including biological samples and engineered products.

X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS)

XPS is a surface chemical analysis technique.

It is based on the photoelectric effect and works by irradiating a sample material with x-rays causing electrons to be ejected. Identification of the elements in the sample can be made directly from the kinetic energies of these ejected photoelectrons.

This technique is typically used to identify the surface chemistry of a sample, samples are cut or scraped to characterise the sub surface composition of the sample.

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

TEM is a technique uses to look at a thin cross-section of a material.

Electrons pass through the sample and can potentially provide images of that sample on an atomic scale.

Sample preparation can be complex as the dimensions have to be small enough to become electron transparent. At NIBEC TEM is typically used to characterise materials on a nanoscale.

X-ray Diffraction (XRD)

XRD uses X-rays to characterise the structure if crystalline materials.

A beam of X-rays is aimed at the sample and the way in which they scatter after they hit the sample provides an insight into its structure.

This is a high-resolution technique and can be used to identify the structure of thin layers on a nanoscale.

This technique can be used to measure thickness, roughness, layering and density.

Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE SEM)

FE SEM produced extremely high-resolution images of the surface of a range of materials and also data on the surface composition.

This composition makes it a good choice for identifying contamination within materials at the high-resolution and also provide information on the nanostructure of materials to optimise manufacturing techniques.

When using this technique there is no need to place conductive coatings on the sample nanoscale carry out analysis of the surface.

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

An Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) provides 3-dimensional topographic information about a sample by probing its surface structure with a very sharp tip.

This analysis can provide information regarding the sample on a nanoscale over 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit.

As AFM does not require lenses or beam radiation there is no requirement to place the sample in a vacuum during analysis.

Raman Spectroscopy (RS)

RS is a technique used to identify the chemical structure of a material. It works by shining a lazer onto the surface of a material and then analysing the scattered light which is reflected from it.

Some of the light interact with the chemical bonds within the sample and the wave length of the light is altered slightly and this change is measured by a sensitive spectrometer.

Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS)

TOF-SIMS provides detailed information regarding the elemental and molecular structure of the surface of a solid material.

When a sample is being analysed a highly focussed ion beam is focused on the material surface and this causes secondary Ions to be emitted from the sample.

The time of flight analyser is used to accurately determine the mass from the emitted ions or groups of ions allowing the chemical characterisation of the sample.