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Characterisation of Functional Materials
The Focused Ion beam / Dual Beam (FIB)
The combination of a scanning electron microscope with a field emission gun and a Ga- ion beam column enables the parallel imaging with electrons and ions, as well as localized removal of sample material. Relevant areas as inclusions or crack tips can be prepared and imaged with this instrument. Furthermore, the system enables the acquisition of image series for the three-dimensional volume reconstructions on a microscopic scale.
The Metallography Lab
The materialographic sections for various investigations are produced in the metallography lab. For investigations, it is equipped with several metallographic microscopes enabling bright- and dark field illumination as well as polarization and Nomarski contrast (DIC) imaging. Furthermore, a microhardness tester for mechanical characterization as well as a Laser scanning microscope (LSM) for roughness measurements and surface topography analysis is available.
The X-Ray Laboratory: X-ray microstructure analysis (XRD)
Through diffraction of X-radiation on atomic structures within crystalline materials, characteristic diffractograms are produced due to optical path differences. The collected data can be evaluated, with or without database assistance. The Institute of Materials Research allotted a Bruker D8-Advance-Diffractometer for bulk- and powder sample measurement, from room temperature up to 1600 °C....
The confocal laser scanning microscope (LSM)
The confocal laser scanning microscope is used for the mapping and testing of surface topologies. By using a focused laser beam, differences in sample height as small as 10 nm are observable. The computer controlled analysis of these measurements deliver roughness profiles or maps as well as three-dimensional surface topology models.
By use of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (Oxford Instruments MESA 5000) the chemical composition of solids or powders (starting with element Na) can be analysed easily and quickly. If standards of known compositions are used, quantitative accuracy in the order of 0,1wt% can be achieved.
Analytical transmission electron microscopy
The analytical transmission electron microscope is used to study microstructural features of submicron and nanometer scale. Transmission electron microscopy combines three modes of high-resolution material characterization, i.e. imaging, spectroscopy (X-ray spectroscopy, electron loss spectroscopy), and diffraction (selected area diffraction, convergent beam diffraction). Thus, our 300 kV field emission microscope is a powerful tool for materials and solid-state science.
Thermal analyses (Thermo balance, Dilatometer)
Thermo balances (Setaram TG-DTA 92 und Setaram Setsys 16/18) are used to analyse weight changes in defined atmospheres (air, oxygen, argon, synthetic gases) at a high resolution (up to 1µg) at temperatures up to 1600°C. Simultaneously DTA measurements (differential thermal analyses) are possible. Dilatometer measurements can be run under vacuum or defined atmosphere to determine the coefficient of thermal expansion.
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
The field-emission scanning electron microscope (SEM) is our "working horse" in solving structural and analytical questions on a microscopic scale, It bridges the gap between light and transmission electron microscopy. For imaging and analysis, secondary and backscattered electron detectors as well as EDX and EBSD systems are available.
For measuring specific heat and for determination of enthalpy of transformations the DSC method (differential scanning calorimetry) is used. The equipment (DSC 400, Fa. Netzsch Gerätebau) allows measurements up to 1400°C. Thermo balances (Setaram TG-DTA 92 und Setaram Setsys 16/18) are used to analyse weight changes in defined atmospheres (air, oxygen, argon, synthetic gases) at a high resolution (up to 1µg) at temperatures up to 1600°C. Simultaneously DTA measurements (differential thermal analyses) are possible. Dilatometer measurements can be run under vacuum or defined atmosphere to determine the coefficient of thermal expansion.
Various optical microscopes (e. g. Leitz MM6, Leitz Aristomet) equipped with electronic image acquisition and processing are available together with a micro hardness tester.
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