The following techniques are suitable for imaging surfaces. Each has advantages and so the information you wish to obtain from a sample will determine which technique is the best to use.
Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM)
SEMs are able to image surfaces with a wide range of magnifications for a number of sample types. We are able to help prepare samples with a thin carbon or metal film, depending on requirements. The large depth of field that SEM allows provides a clear image and the technique is used across a wide range of disciplines. Within the RTP we have three SEMs; the Zeiss Supra 55-VP, the Zeiss Gemini and the Jeol 4500 FIB/SEM. The Supra 55-VP has a magnification range of 12x to 900,000x and a resolution of 1 nm. The machine is suitable for a wide range of samples and user experience levels and also has a cryo stage to allow for low temperature measurements. The Zeiss Gemini has a resolution of 1nm at 1kV and 0.6nm resolution at higher accelerating voltages, which is as good as it gets for any SEM in the world. The 4500 FIB/SEM is able to both obtain SEM images and also precisely cut samples. This allows for complex structure formation and creation of sample cross sections for use with other techniques. The 4500 FIB/SEM is more suitable for experiments with specific requirements and more experienced users.
JEOL 4500 FIB-SEM
Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM)
AFMs are able to give information on the roughness of a surface and work with a wide range of samples, including insulators. They can also image in liquids and offer a range of other modes of imaging. The RTP has two AFMs; the Asylum Research MFP3D-SA and the Veeco Multimode. The MFP3D-SA has a range of modes available, as well as a heating stage for imaging between 30 to 250 Celsius. The Multimode also has a range of modes, including STM. Both are suitable for users of different experience levels.