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Surface & Materials Characterization

Shared facilities operated by the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (NCMN). The Surface and Materials Characterization Facility (SMCF) provides state-of-the-art instruments for nanometer-scale surface measurement, thermal analysis, and mechanical characterization of a vari­ety of materials.

The SMCF facility is currently defined in three ar­eas (bays) as scanning probe microscopy, thermal and optical analysis, and mechanical characterization and sample preparation. The scanning probe microscopy (SPM) bay contains three SPM microscopies, including BRUKER ICON SPM, EnviroScope Atomic Force Microscope, and Dimension 3100 SPM system. The SPM offers simultaneous high-magnification observation of 3-dimentional images and related physical properties, as well as measurements in various environments. Two thermal analysis systems: a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC 204 F1 Phoenix) and a thermogravimetry analysis system (TGA 209 F1 Libra) allow users to study and measure various thermal properties of materials such as glass-transition, melting, and crystallization temperatures. Also available is an Olympus BX51 polarizing optical microscope which includes differential interference contrast capabilities for sample viewing and image analysis.  In addition, the thermal behavior of a sample can be observed under the microscope using a Mettler Toledo FP900 thermal system equipped with a FP 82 hot stage with a temperature range from room temperature to 375° C. The mechanical characterization and sample preparation bay houses the following: (1) Tukon 2500 Knoop/Vickers Hardness tester, (2) BUEHLER ISOMet 1000 Precision Saw, (3) BUEHLER MiniMet 1000 Grinder-polisher, (4) Sartorius Cubis MSU2.7S-000-DM Microbalance, and (5) A new annealing system with high magnetic field of 4.5 T will be available very soon.