High-end structural and compositional characterization provides one of the essential links to correlate processing conditions and properties of materials. Electron microscopy is one of the most versatile and powerful tools to provide this link by characterizing the atomic to nanometer scale structure essential for understanding nano materials. Furthermore, in situ experiments with mechanical, electrical or thermal stimulus inside the electron microscope provide a direct correlation between structural changes and materials properties.
We are applying electron microscopy in close collaboration with a number of national and international research groups covering a range of different application areas including
- Batteries Materials
- Plasticity in Nanocrystalline Metals
- Metallic Nanoglasses
- Si DQs and SiLEDs
- Graphene and CNTs
- Ferroelectric Thin Films
- Magnetic Thin Films
- Selfassembled Nanostructures
In this research we are combining various imaging and structuring techniques in scanning electron microscopy (SEM), focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy and (scanning) transmission electron microscopy (S)TEM with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and electron diffraction for 2D and 3D structural and compositional analysis. These techniques can be combined with low-dose and cryo imaging for analysis of beam sensitive materials and frozen solutions.
In addition to these well-established techniques, we are developing new approaches to further enhance the microscopy capabilities. In particular, we are focusing on
- Electron tomographic techniques for quantitative nano scale analysis in 3D
- 4D STEM
- Radial Distribution Function Mapping for an analysis of the local short- and medium range order in glasses
- Automated crystal orientation mapping in STEM for quantitative metallographic analysis with nanometer resolution
- In-situ TEM techniques combining external stimuli with high-end imaging in the TEM/SEM
- mechanical testing
- electrical testing
All of our structuring and characterization capabilities are also available to external users through the Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility (KNMF).