Nanostructure Laboratory

Electron microscopy

Quanta™ 250 FEG from FEI (environmental scanning electron microscope with a Shottky field emission source FEG-ESEM)

  • Everhardt Thornley SED -Detector
  • 4 quadrant solid-state BSED
  • Large Field Low vacuum SED
  • Gaseous SED (GSED) (used in ESEM mode)
  • Gaseous analytical BSED (GAD)
  • IR camera for viewing sample chamber
  • Nav-CamTM - color optical camera for sample navigation
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy EDS
  • in situ cooling and heating equipment
  • in-situ testing machine

Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)

Small angle X-ray diffraction instrument PSAXS System S/Max 3000 by RIGAKU. The instrument is equiped with a MM002+ microfocus source (Cu-Kα) and a Triton200 detector. Structures with dimensions from 0.1 nm - 120 nm can be investigated. The beam diameter was measured to be about 210 µm (FWHM) with nominal about 1x107 photons per second at the sample. Additional measurment equipment:

  • WAXD with IP via manual load-lock unit
  • Stage for heating (+300 °C) and cooling (-50 °C)

In-situ nanoindentation

Technical specifications of the SEM in-situ nanonider from ASMEC

  • Maximum test force ± 200mN (push + pull)
  • Maximum displacement ± 150 µm @ 200mN, ± 200µm @ 20mN
  • Digital force resolution ≤ 50 nN
  • Digital displacement resolution ≤ 10 pm
  • Noise level of force measurement (RMS under load) ≤ 0,5 µN
  • Noise level of displacement measurement (RMS under load) ≤ 0,5 nm

Anton Paar Tensile Stage TS-600

Anton Paar Tensile Stage TS-600

The TS 600 Tensile Stage is a completely new, advanced sample stage for in-situ X-ray diffraction studies of stress/strain phenomena in fibers, foils and thin films. It is the first commercial sample stage specifically designed for in-situ XRD investigations of structural changes in materials under mechanical load. Because of its compactness and low weight, the instrument can be used on synchotrons as well as on laboratory X-ray diffractometers. And what’s more, it can be operated in transmission and reflection mode to gain new insights into the world of strain and stress.

Exploring the world of mechanical properties

  • Simultaneous straining and X-ray diffraction
  • Two different load cells cover a large force range with high resolution
  • Easy exchange and automatic recognition of load cells
  • Precise measurement of force and sample elongation
  • Measurements in transmission and reflection geometry
  • Various sample types, such as fibers, foils, thin sheets, etc
  • Suitable for synchotrons and commercial X-ray diffractometers

RMC Boeckeler Instruments MT 990 Cryotom

Universal, Heavy Duty Microtome for a Wide Variety of Applications
in Histopathology and Materials Research

  • With a Motorized programmable automatic trim, the Microtome MT-990 cuts paraffin, plastic, and hard specimens.
  • Optional cryoattachment permits sectioning from ambient temperature to -140C
  • Selectable cutting window


  • Motorized programmable automatic trim
  • Cuts paraffin, plastic and hard specimens
  • Motorized cutting stroke may also be used manually
  • Motorized knife stage, 28mm maximum travel
  • Feed totalizer, selectable for either total feed in micrometers or total number of sections
  • Separate controller for hands-off operation

Materials testing in the low and high frequency regime

Low frequency testing machines

Different universal testing machines in a load range from 0.5 N — 100 kN are available

  • Micro testing machine to test single fibres. Operation in- and outside the ESEM. Maximum test force 0.5 N (self-made)
  • Micro testing machine 1 kN. Operation in- and outside the ESEM (self-made)
  • Static Materials Testing Machines from Zwick 10 kN and Hegewald & Peschke Meß- und Prüftechnik GmbH 10 kN
  • Dynamic servo hydraulic testing machine MTS 50 kN
  • Dynamic biaxial servo hydraulic tension torsion testing-machine MTS 100 kN


  • Static and dynamic loading
  • Strength and toughness measurement under uni- and multiaxial loading conditions
  • Measurement of fracture toughness and fracture energies
  • fatigue testing

Ultrasonic testing devices (in-house developement)

Equipment to test fatigue strength at very high load cycles

  • superposition of static and dynamic loads
  • fatigue crack growth testing
  • testing in corrosive environment
  • testing at high temperatures
  • testing in vacuum

Testing equipment for the dispersion of soil

Light microscopy

  • stereo microscope from Wild
  • upright microscope for materials analysis from Leica DM 4000 M 
    • bright field
    • dark field
    • interference contrast
    • polarisation
    • fluorescence microscopy
  • BX51 transmitted light microscope from Olympus

Keyence VHX-5000

Keyence VHX-5000

Next-generation optical microscope with a large depth-of-field and advanced measurement capabilities for inspection and failure analysis.

  • Zoom lenses: 20 - 200X, 100 - 1000X and 250 - 2500x
  • Allows recording / playback of videos
  • Composes a single image from different images that are focused and captured at different heights
  • Measures an area on a 2D image
  • Software for timer-controlled image acquisition

Contact: L. Ploszczanski

Surface measurement techniques

  • Roughness measurement equipment: Mahr Perthometer M2
  • Contactless surface topography measurement based on laser line scanning (self-made)
  • MEX®, 3D topography measurement at micro scale from Alicona
  • Contact angle measurement from GBX
    • Measurement of static and dynamic contact angles
    • Gibbs surface energy determination
    • Heating chamber
  • Hardness tester

Special equipment

Processing technology

  • Sledge microtome for the measurement of cutting forces
  • Table milling machine with stepless adjustment of revolution speed for the measurement of cutting forces at variable cutting speed (Felder)
  • Automatic moving equipment with variable feed for the table milling machine
  • Prototype of vibration assisted cutting machine to process wood, stone and concrete
  • 3d piezo force sensors for the measurement of dynamic cutting forces

Fracture mechanics

  • Wedge splitting equipment for the determination of fracture energy and toughness
    • macroscopically
    • microscopically in-situ within ESEM