X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory

The AIF X-ray Diffraction Laboratory provides access to 3 state-of-the-art X-ray diffractometers for characterizing microstructural and crystallographic properties of powders, thin films, fibers and other solid materials.

  • Rigaku SmartLab X-ray diffractometer has interchangeable stages and optical components that allow 3 operating modes: 1. Bragg-Brentano in reflection geometry for solid materials. 2. Grazing incidence angle diffraction for polycrystalline thin films. 3. X-ray reflectivity for characterizing thin film thickness, roughness, and density.
  • Our PANalytical Empyrean is equipped with 3 different non-ambient stages that will allow in situ measurements of annealing and reactions in the temperature range from -193oC to 2300oC in different atmospheres. It also has a spinning stage that can be operating in reflection and transmission geometries at room temperature.
  • Bruker AXS General Area Detector Diffraction System (GADDS) at AIF equipped with a High-Star area detector and a Four-circle Eulerian cradle that allow for rapid analysis of polycrystalline and single crystalline samples, texture in the samples, and coarse-grained materials.

For a more elaborated XRD technique description, please refer to this document written by AIF XRD expert BB Ching-Chang Chung.

Transmission Electron Microscopy Laboratory

The AIF Transmission Electron Microscopy Laboratory (TEM Lab) is a state-of-the-art open laboratory with the instrumentation and functions from entry-level to most currently updated advanced-level. Three functions in the laboratory make it easy for NCSU researchers to complete their projects on campus and for students to learn the related techniques.

Atomic Resolution Elemental Mapping on SrTiO3 crystal by Super X EDS system on Titan 80-300 Aberration Corrected Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope

Atomic Resolution Elemental Mapping on SrTiO3 crystal by Super X EDS system on Titan 80-300 Aberration Corrected Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope


TEM technique description

Typical TEM Experimental Description

TEM Laboratory Functions
Transmission Electron Microscopes Sample Preparation for TEM Computer Simulation

The laboratory offers year-round educational training to students at different level, with an open policy to ensure all the properly trained students and researchers have access at 24/7 scheme. A steering committee oversees the operation and access policy of the laboratory, with the members coming from the colleges where the major users come from. A highly qualified professional team ensures the program to be successful.

Staff and Steering Committee Access Policy Training Plan Laboratory Guidelines

Atomic Resolution: NCSU’s Aberration Corrected S/TEM

The Department of Materials Science & Engineering and the Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) are proud to announce the installation of a new FEI Titan G2 aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (AC-STEM).  As “nano” becomes an ever-present prefix of daily life, demand has increased for analytical capabilities that reach beyond the nanoscale.  Scanning transmission electron microscopy has served as one of the most powerful nanoscale characterization tools available to the materials scientist. These instruments use a series of magnetic lenses to focus electrons into a vanishingly small probe, which is then scanned over an extremely thin (10-100 nm) section of material.  The sample atoms then scatter the electrons to an imaging detector. An example conventional STEM image is shown in figure 1a, showing a single crystal of Si imaged down the <110> direction where the bright locations correspond to individual columns of atoms.  Unfortunately, inherent aberrations of magnetic lenses distort the trajectories of the electrons and have limited the spatial resolution of conventional STEM instruments to about 1 Angstrom.

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