Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a very high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy, with demonstrated resolution to fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit. The AFM is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.
Applications: Biological; structural and electronic materials surface analysis.
- Absorbance Spectroscopy
Absorbance is the logarithm of the ratio of intensities of light incident on a sample and light transmitted through it. The most common application of UV/visible absorption spectroscopy is to determine the concentration of a species in solution using the Beer-Lambert law.
Applications: Absorbance spectroscopy gives some indication of electronic structure but is most often used to determine concentrations of samples using the Beer-Lambert Law. It is also a good idea to measure an absorbance spectrum of a sample before measuring a circular or linear dichroism spectrum.
- Additive Laser Manufacturing
Additive Laser Manufacturing, or 3D Printing, is a rapid prototyping-manufacturing method used to reduce process time, product weight and use of raw materials. Typically, products can be generated through 3D printing can be made with lower CO2 emissions, lower water requirements, less virgin material (material extracted from natural resources), less potentially hazardous materials, less energy and finally less landfill waste.
Applications: Rapid product prototyping, or to produce moulds or mould masters that will in turn allow the production of final items – in particular, jewellery, packaging, containers, dental appliances, clothing, model vehicles for wind-tunnel measurements.
- Antimicrobial Screening Facility
Antimicrobial screening is the first step of antimicrobial drug discovery to identify suitable candidates against bacterial and fungal infections.
The Agilent Bioanalyzer provides quality and size assessment for DNA and RNA as well as quantification information. The microfluidic, electrophoresis system needs minimal sample (usually 1ul) to carry out assays. The Agilent 2100 Expert Software allows data to be reported in multiple formats including .pdf and excel.
Circular dichroism (CD) is the difference in absorption of left and right circularly polarized light. CD is particularly useful for studying solutions of chiral molecules, by which we mean ones that cannot be superposed on their mirror images. CD is now a routine tool in many laboratories. The essential features of a CD spectropolarimeter are: a source of (more-or-less) monochromatic left and right circularly polarized light and a means of detecting the difference in absorbance of the two polarizations of light. The normal method of measuring CD is to implement a polarization phase-modulation technique as the signals are a small difference between large absorbances.
Applications: Biological structure analysis, particularly DNA and RNA analysis of single and double helix; protein secondary structure content; tertiary structure content; biological macromolecules; structural variations due to environmental changes
- Confocal Microscopy
Conventional optical microscopes display a shallow depth of field, especially at higher magnifications. A confocal microscope uses a pinhole to collect light from the focal plane of a sample, discarding out-of-focus light to produce a clear, high resolution image.
Applications: Neuroanatomy and neurophysiology; morphological studies of cells and tissues; resonance; energy transfer; stem cell research; photobleaching studies; lifetime imaging; multiphoton microscopy; total internal reflection; DNA hybridization; membrane and ion probes; bioluminescent proteins; epitope tagging.
Cryo Transmission Electronic Microscopy (Cryo-TEM) is a microscopy technique in which specimens are flash frozen to produce a thin film of vitreous ice allowing a sample to be viewed under the electron microscope without the need for fixation, drying or staining. The sample is viewed in a near native state without the distortions introduced by traditional EM methods.
Applications: Biological molecules; virology; nanotechnology; micelles; vesicles; emulsions.
- DNA Library Prep
DNA libraries can be used to study whole genome sequence and structure, SNPs and other genetic variants as well as many aspects of the genome.
- Digital Forensics
Digital forensics is a branch of computer science that focuses on developing evidence pertaining to digital files for use in civil or criminal court proceedings. Digital forensic evidence would relate to a computer document, email, text, digital photograph, software program, or other digital record which may be at issue in a legal case.
Applications: Hard Drive Analysis; Live Analysis; Deleted Files analysis; Volatile Data Analysis; Forensics
If the system geometry is well described, it is possible to relate the bands present in the EBSD to the underlying crystal phase and orientation of the material within the electron interaction volume. Each band can be indexed individually by the Miller indices of the diffracting plane which formed it.
Applications: Index and identify the seven crystal systems; crystal orientation mapping; defect studies; phase identification; grain boundary and morphology studies; regional heterogeneity investigations; material discrimination; microstrain mapping.
Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDX) is an analytical technique used for the elemental analysis or chemical characterization of a sample. It is one of the variants of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy which relies on the investigation of a sample through interactions between electromagnetic radiation and matter, analyzing X-rays emitted by the matter in response to being hit with charged particles.
Applications: Chemical analysis; Interfacial Analysis; Defect Analysis; Forensics
In Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS), a material is exposed to a beam of electrons with a known, narrow range of kinetic energies. Some of the electrons will undergo inelastic scattering, which means that they lose energy and have their paths slightly and randomly deflected. The amount of energy loss can be measured via an electron spectrometer and interpreted in terms of what caused the energy loss.
Applications: Materials analysis; chemical analysis; interfacial analysis; band gap measurements; thickness measurements; bonding studies.
Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) or Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) spectroscopy is a technique for studying chemical species that have one or more unpaired electrons, such as organic and inorganic free radicals or inorganic complexes possessing a transition metal ion. The basic physical concepts of EPR are analogous to those of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), but it is electron spins that are excited instead of spins of atomic nuclei. Because most stable molecules have all their electrons paired, the EPR technique is less widely used than NMR. However, this limitation to paramagnetic species also means that the EPR technique is one of great specificity, since ordinary chemical solvents and matrices do not give rise to EPR spectra.
Applications: Characterisation of metallo-proteins; examining structure and electronic parameters; examining structure-function relationships; in-vivo detection of free-radical intermediates; effects of complex metal additions on biological materials; high sensitivity measurements on the effects of operating environment (pH, molecular motion, charge).
Electrospinning is a process used to manufacture nano-sized fibers from various materials, such as polymers.Various drugs can also be used in conjunction with polymer materials in order to encapsulate the drugs within the fibers.Diameter control and fiber layering are two other structural characteristics of the electrospun fibers that can be tailored using electrospinning
Ellipsometry is an optical technique that uses polarised light to probe the dielectric properties of a sample. The most common application of ellipsometry is the analysis of very thin films. Through the analysis of the state of polarisation of the light that is reflected from the sample, ellipsometry can yield information about layers that are thinner than the wavelength of the light itself, down to a single atomic layer or less.
Applications: Layer thickness; optical constants (refractive index and extinction coefficient); surface roughness; composition; optical anisotropy; multilayer thicknesses; alloy composition; interfacial roughness; bandgap and electronic transitions; constituent and void fractions
- Environmental Testing
The various materials in a component can have different coefficients of expansion, resulting in thermal stresses and premature failure. Constant temperature operation is often not the cause for failure. More commonly it is the stressing induced by temperature cycling which does the damage. Combine that with condensation and the potential for shortened life can be easily anticipated . Well designed and manufactured products can withstand the repeated stress reversals of heating and cooling without failure. Conversely incompatible materials can result in premature failure of otherwise well made components.
Applications: Climatic chambers are widely used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical and marine industry to demonstrate that products will perform under storage, transportation and operation conditions.
Applications: TEM sample preparation; photolithography; defect analysis; etching; polishing and thinning.
Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FT-ICR) also known as Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry (FT-MS). A type of mass analyzer (or mass spectrometer) for determining the mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) of ions based on the cyclotron frequency of the ions in a fixed magnetic field.
Applications: Protein sequencing; protein ID; protein PTM analysis; other biomolecule analysis; petroleomics; metabolomics, etc.
Fluorescence spectroscopy measures the intensity of photons emitted from a sample after it has absorbed photons. Most fluorescent molecules are aromatic. Fluorescence is an important investigational tool in many areas of analytical science, due to its high sensitivity and selectivity. It can be used to investigate real-time structure and dynamics both in solution state and under microscopes, particularly for bio-molecular systems.
Applications: The wavelength of tryptophan fluorescence can be used to determine whether a tryptophan is in an aqueous environment (longer wavelength) or buried deep within the protein (shorter wavelength). Changes in fluorescence intensity can be used to probe binding of two molecules. Fluorescence polarization anisotropy allows mobility of fluorophores to be studies.
Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) is an instrumental technique, comprising a gas chromatograph (GC) coupled to a mass spectrometer (MS), by which complex mixtures of chemicals may be separated, identified and quantified. This makes it ideal for the analysis of the hundreds of relatively low molecular weight compounds found in environmental materials.
Applications: Low molecular weight gaseous molecular separation technique
Gel permeation or size exclusion chromatography separates molecules based on their size in solution. It is a key technique in the analysis of polymers, where it is used to determine molecular weight distributions. A variety of solvents, detectors and temperatures can be used to enable most polymeric materials to be analysed.
Applications: Molecular weight distributions; molecular size; shape and conformation; high temperature GPC; aqueous GPC
Genomics is the comprehensive study of the genetic information of a cell or organism This includes the number of genes in an organism, the function of specific genes, the influence of one gene on another, and the activation and suppression of genes.
Applications: Genetics; inherited disorders; hereditary diseases; forensics, for example DNA fingerprinting; population movement studies; genetic modification; food studies; neurological disease reproduction pathways.
- High Performance Computing
High performance computing is a specialist area of programming rife with edge cases, caveats and undocumented features. Using decades of collective expertise with a range of high performance computing equipment, working as users, developers and systems administrators, Warwick's research software engineering group can help you to design new software intended for HPC deployment, optimise existing software for newer, larger clusters and unusual architectures and help with deploying your software on a range of HPC systems from "desktop clusters" to cloud deployments.
- IR Spectroscopy
Infrared Spectroscopy (IR, Near, Mid, Fourier Transform, N-IR, M-IR, FT-IR). Deals with the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, that is light with a longer wavelength and lower frequency than visible light. It covers a range of techniques, mostly based on absorption spectroscopy. The infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is usually divided into three regions; the near-, mid- and far- infrared, named for their relation to the visible spectrum.
Applications: Organic compound identification, moisture tracking
- Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry
Applications: Mass spectrometry; high performance liquid chromatography.
Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS, or alternatively HPLC-MS) is an analytical chemistry technique that combines the physical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography (or HPLC) with the mass analysis capabilities of mass spectrometry. LC-MS is a powerful technique used for many applications which has very high sensitivity and selectivity.
Applications: High sensitivity selection and separation mass-measurement. Drug discovery and development, chemical detection and identification of complex mixes.
Linear dichroism (LD) is the difference in absorption, A, of light linearly polarized parallel (//) and perpendicular (⊥) to an orientation axis. LD is used with systems that are either intrinsically oriented or are oriented during the experiment. The signal that is measured contains information about the orientation of sub-units of the system relative to the orientation axis.
Applications: Biological structure analysis, particularly DNA, RNA, fibrous proteins, membrane proteins,lipid structures, carbon nanotibes. Kinetics of such systems. Ligand binding (only those small molecules actually bound to an oriented macromolecule show an LD signal)
Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization. A soft ionization technique used in mass spectrometry, allowing the analysis of biomolecules (biopolymers such as proteins, peptides and sugars) and large organic molecules (such as polymers, dendrimers and other macromolecules), which tend to be fragile and fragment when ionized by more conventional ionization methods.
Applications: Analysis of fragile biomolecules, Surface Imaging and chemical mapping
- Mechanical Testing
Mechanical testing reveals elastic and inelastic behavior of a material when force is applied. A mechanical test shows whether a materials or part is suitable for its intended mechanical applications by measuring elasticity, tensile strength, elongation, hardness, and fatigue limit.
Applications: Mechanical testing is widely applicable to materials which act in fastening and load-bearing roles, for example lock nuts, collars, eddy nuts, bolts, bolts-recessed, wrenchable nuts, raw materials, welds, washers, assembled products, rivets, pins.
Applications: Chemical analysis of liquids and dissolved solids; kinetic and temperature studies of reaction mixtures; characterisation of polymers including structure, co-monomer ratios, end groups; average molecular weight; molecular dynamics; protein folding; ionization; protein hydration; hydrogen bonding; drug screening and design; native membrane protein; metabolite analysis.
- Optical Microscopy
The optical microscope, often referred to as the "light microscope", is a type of microscope which uses visible light and a system of lenses to magnify images of small samples. Optical microscopes are the oldest design of microscope and were designed around 1600. Basic optical microscopes can be very simple, although there are many complex designs which aim to improve resolution and sample contrast.
Applications: Microelectronics; nanophysics; biotechnology; pharmaceutical research; microbiology.
Polymer Injection Moulding (PIM) is a process in which molten polymer is forced under high pressure into a mould cavity through an opening (sprue. Polymer material in form of pellets is fed into an Injection Moulding machine through a hopper. The material is then conveyed forward by a feeding screw and forced into a split mould, filling its cavity through a feeding system with sprue gate and runners.
Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) is a powerful, yet simple technique for the generation of ‘thin films’ of material onto suitable substrate (base or foundation) materials.PLD works by directing a powerful pulsed ultra-violet laser at a target material which has the same material and desired composition desired of the resulting thin-film.
Pieces of material are ‘ablated’ off the target material then caught by an appropriate substate material positioned close to the target.Due to precise control of the laser power and pulse-rate and a number of measurement techniques integral to the PLD such as AFM, it can be a very precise technique for the growth of thin films – some only a few atoms thick – in a controlled manner.
Applications: The transfer of a material of similar composition between target and substrate allows depositing all kinds of different materials including: high-temperature superconductors; oxides; nitrides; carbides; semiconductors; metals; polymers; fullerenes.
A Physical Properties Measurement system (PPMS) is a flexible, open architecture instrument containing a number of physical property measurement techniques in one integrated casing, capable of simulating variable temperature/variable pressure/variable magnetic and electric field environments.
Applications: Automated simultaneous measurement of variety of functional properties, for example resistivity as a function of temperature (from 4.3K to 400K) or magnetic field strength, or specific heat capacity, or magnetic properties.
- Particle Size Determination
The particle size distribution of a powder, or granular material, or particles dispersed in fluid, is a list of values or a mathematical function that defines the relative amounts of particles present, sorted according to size.
Applications: Particle size measurement for suspensions and emulsions, dry samples, powders, granules, sprays and droplets. Food Industry: milk, chocolate, coffee, beer, emulsions, Pharmaceutical: suspensions, powders, syrups, injectables, microcapsule. Chemicals: polymers, dispersants, pesticides, Environmental: tap water, waste water, flocculation, membrane filtration, Cosmetic: perfumes, creams, emulsions , petrochemical: fuel, crude oils, bitumen additives, Pigments: inks, toners, paints, varnishes
Applications: Semiconductor manufacture; Thin-Film manufacture; Microelectronics; Nanoelectronics.
Porosimetry is an analytical technique used to determine various quantifiable aspects of a material's porous nature, such as pore diameter, total pore volume, surface area, and bulk and absolute densities. The technique involves the intrusion of a non-wetting liquid (often mercury) at high pressure into a material through the use of a porosimeter. The pore size can be determined based on the external pressure needed to force the liquid into a pore against the opposing force of the liquid's surface tension.
Applications: Pharmaceuticals; Ceramics; Adsorbents; Catalysis; Paper; Medical Implants; Aeroscape; Fuel Cells; Geosciences; Filtration; Construction Material; Cement.
The Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) is a mass sensing device with the ability to measure very small mass changes on a quartz crystal resonator in real-time. The sensitivity of the QCM is approximately 100 times higher than an electronic fine balance with a sensitivity of 0.1mg.
This means that QCM´s are capable of measuring mass changes as small as a fraction of a monolayer or single layer of atoms. The high sensitivity and the real-time monitoring of mass changes on the sensor crystal make QCM a very attractive technique for a large range of applications.
Applications: QCM is very applicable to many technologies where high-precision mass measurements are required
- RNA TruSeq Library Prep
RNA libraries can be used to study transcriptome sequence, gene expression and alternative splicing.
- Raman Spectroscopy
Raman Spectroscopy is a spectroscopic technique used to study vibrational, rotational, and other low-frequency modes in a system. It relies on inelastic scattering, or Raman scattering, of monochromatic light, usually from a laser in the visible, near infrared, or near ultraviolet range.
Applications: Non destructive analysis of paint pigments and pottery; cell research; disease detection; drug design and pharmaceutical materials; characterisation of drug-cell interactions; microbiology and cell sorting; cosmetics and in vivo skin analysis; characterisation and polymorphy of pharmaceuticals; physical and chemical quantitative behaviour prediction in polymers; strain measurements in thin film semiconductor layers; observation of oxidation kinetics on rusting surfaces.
The Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) a microscope that uses electrons instead of light to form an image. Since their development in the early 1950's, scanning electron microscopes have developed new areas of study in the medical and physical science communities. The SEM has allowed researchers to examine a much bigger variety of specimens.
Applications: Microscopic feature measurement; fracture characterization; microstructure studies; thin coating evaluations; surface contamination examination; IC failure analysis.
Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). A technique used in materials science and surface science to analyze the composition of solid surfaces and thin films by sputtering the surface of the specimen with a focused primary ion beam and collecting and analyzing ejected secondary ions. These secondary ions are measured with a mass spectrometer to determine the elemental, isotopic, or molecular composition of the surface. SIMS is the most sensitive surface analysis technique, being able to detect elements present in the parts per billion range.
Applications: Surface analysis; chemical analysis; sputtering; etching; surface cleaning; trace element detection.
Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy (STM). An instrument for imaging surfaces at the atomic level. For an STM, good resolution is considered to be 0.1 nm lateral resolution and 0.01 nm depth resolution. With this resolution, individual atoms within materials are routinely imaged and manipulated. The STM can be used not only in ultra high vacuum but also in air, water, and various other liquid or gas ambients, and at temperatures ranging from near zero kelvin to a few hundred degrees Celsius.
Applications: Biological; structural and electronic materials surface analysis.
- Scientific/Technical Software Development
Software in an academic setting is incredibly broad. We have extensive expertise in working with "unusual" or "niche" problems, written in a wide range of modern and legacy languages. We can provide a range of services, from helping your dev-team understand legacy code, to assisting with designing new software in a way that integrates the lessons learned in academia, to developing entire applications to your specification.
- Single Crystal Growth
A single crystal, also called a monocrystal, is a crystalline solid in which the crystal lattice of the entire sample is continuous and unbroken to the edges of the sample, with no grain boundaries. Grain boundaries have a lot of significant effects on the mechanical, physical and electrical properties of materials.Therefore, single crystals are demanded in many fields, such as microelectronics and optoelectronics, as well as structural and high temperature materials.
Applications: Applications of single crystal materials are broad. Silicon single crystals and related materials have a large market in integrated circuits industry. Monocrystals of sapphire are highly demanded in laser devices. For metallic materials, turbine blades can be made of single crystals of superalloys, which can achieve novel mechanical properties.
- Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)
Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) is an X-ray technique which allows the non-destructive investigation of nanoscale particle size, distribution and morphology. At Warwick we have a Xenocs Xeuss 2.0 SAXS with a wide range of sample stages.
- Solar Cell Testing
A large area (3.2m2) continuous solar simulator allows evaluation of the performance and detailed characterization of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems. The angle of the assembly can be varied from horizontal to vertical in order to investigate the effect of natural convection within thermal collectors.
Applications: Solar Cells; solar cell electrical performance; solar cell longevity test
- Solid State NMR
NMR is non-destructive method providing information about chemical structure and dynamics with atomic resolution. In solid-state NMR, high-resolution spectra are obtained by the technique of magic-angle spinning (MAS) that involves rotating the sample at high rotation frequencies (up to 60,000 rotations a second) around an axis inclined at 54.7 degrees to the direction of the superconducting NMR magnetic field. NMR spectra are nucleus specific (e.g., a 1H or 13C NMR spectrum is obtained), with spectral resonances being differentiated on the basis of the NMR chemical shift, while through-bond connectivities and through-space proximities can be identified by means of experiments that utilise J and dipolar couplings between nuclei.
Applications: Pharmaceuticals, polymers, glasses, and biosolids.
Statistics is a scientific discipline that helps people make decisions on the basis of evidence, often (but not always) numerical. Statistics are also numbers which summarise the results of a controlled study (a census or survey, an experiment), or other (often uncontrolled) collections of data. Whilst most people think of statistics in the latter form it is in the former that it can frequently be most powerful.
Applications: Statistics broad capabilities translate to a vast number of applications for example: Actuarial science; Biostatistics; Business Analytics; Chemometrics; Demography; Econometrics; Environmental statistics; Epidemiology; Geostatistics; Operations Research; Population Ecology; Quantitative Psychology; Psychometrics; Quality Control; Statistical Finance; Statistical Mechanics; Statistical Physics; Statistical Thermodynamics.
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) is a microscopy technique whereby a beam of electrons is transmitted through an ultra thin specimen, interacting with the specimen as it passes through. An image is formed from the interaction of the electrons transmitted through the specimen; the image is magnified and focused onto an imaging device, such as a fluorescent screen, or to be detected by a sensor such as a CCD camera.
Applications: Defect analysis; failure analysis; materials qualification; electron tomography; structural biology; virology; forensics; structural composition; chemical composition.
Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometry (TOFMS). A method of mass spectrometry in which ions mass-to-charge ratio is determined via a time measurement. Ions are accelerated by an electric field of known strength. This acceleration results in an ion having the same kinetic energy as any other ion that has the same charge.
Applications: End point detection in multilayer devices; mass and structure elucidation
- Thermal analysis
Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is the quantitative measurement of phase transitions and is used to determine transition tempertaures and phase compositions, for example glass transitions in polymers, glass/crystal fractions, and purity determination in pharmaceuticals. High temperature phase changes such as those in metals or ceramics can be monitored. Thermogravitetric analysis (TGA) can be used to determine the thermodynamics and kinetics of processes involving mass loss such as corrosion and oxidation, or to monitor dehydration or thermal stability of samples.
Applications: Liquid crystals; oxidative stability; safety screening; drug analysis; general chemical analysis; food science; polymers; metals.
Tribology is the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and of related subjects and practices. Its popular English language equivalent is friction, wear, and lubrication or lubrication science.
Applications: Bearing design but extends into almost all other aspects of modern technology, even to such unlikely areas as hair conditioners and cosmetics such as lipstick, powders and lipgloss. Any product where one material slides or rubs over another, for example lubricated hip implants and other artificial prostheses.
- Ultraviolet Photoelectron Spectroscopy (UPS)
Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS) is an analytical technique that can be used to obtain information about the electronic structure of conductive or semiconductive surfaces. An energetic profile can be built through measuring the photoelectron yield as a function of energy.
The Vehicle Energy Facility (VEF) is a new state-of-the-art hybrid Powertrain research facility providing un-rivalled capabilities and flexibility for the testing and characterisation of hybrid powertrains, components and control systems using dynamometers. The Vehicle Energy Facility supports research on hybrid architectures, as well as conventional and pure electric vehicle powertrains. It has been purpose-built to be used for the whole spectrum of vehicle types from passenger car through to heavy duty applications.
Applications: Architecture testing; component testing and characterisation; control strategy development and refinement; fuel economy and emissions testing; electric motor testing and characterisation; electrical energy storage testing and characterisation; optimised (downsized) engines for hybrids; Real world performance of special bio-fuels; optimised energy management for HEVS; determination of the effects of driver behaviour on hybrid and conventional vehicles over a wide range of drive cycles; plug-in HEV leading to V2G research; determination of local emissions in conjunction with CO2 emissions for different control strategies
Whole Body Calorimeters, often called Respiration Chambers, are an airtight room large enough to contain a human test subject, in which O2 consumption and CO2 production is continuously measured by analysing the differential concentration of gas between the air flowing into and out of the chamber.
Applications: Human Metabolism
X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), also known as Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis (ESCA), is an analysis technique used to obtain chemical information about the surfaces of solid materials. Both composition and the chemical state of surface constituents can be determined by XPS. Insulators and conductors can easily be analyzed in surface areas from a few microns to a few millimeters across.
Applications: polymer surface modification; catalysis; corrosion; adhesion; semiconductors; dielectric materials; electronics packaging; magnetic media; thin film coatings.
X-ray Diffraction (XRD), a powerful non-destructive technique for characterizing crystalline materials. It provides information on structures, phases, preferred crystal orientations (texture), and other structural parameters, such as average grain size, crystallinity, strain, and crystal defects.
Applications: Characterization of crystalline materials; identification of fine-grained minerals such as clays; determination of unit cell dimensions; measurement of sample purity; crystal structures determination using Rietveld refinement; determining lattice mismatch between thin-film and substrate and to inferring stress and strain; determining the thickness, roughness and density of the film using glancing incidence X-ray reflectivity measurements; textural measurements such as the orientation of grains in a polycrystalline sample.
X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometery is a spectroscopy used for routine, relatively non-destructive chemical analyses of rocks, minerals, sediments and fluids. It works on wavelength-dispersive spectroscopic principles that are similar to an electron microprobe (EPMA). However, an XRF cannot generally make analyses at the small spot sizes typical of EPMA work (2-5 microns), so it is typically used for bulk analyses of larger fractions of geological materials.
Applications: Chemical composition; defect analysis; failure analysis; materials qualification; forensics.