The NMCF maintains a number of optical (light) microscopes to magnify features on samples, including a Hirox digital microscope for enhanced depth-of-field images and video. Our Zygo white-light profilometer provides quantitative measurements of surface roughness and topography. Raman spectroscopy utilizes UV and visible laser light to identify molecules and study chemical bonding between atoms and molecules on specimen surfaces, generating spectra for single points or surface maps with micron resolution. An integrated Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) allows supplemental determination of topography and electrical characteristics.

NMCF Optical and Raman Instrumentation

  • Joe Thompson working on the Renishaw Raman Spectrometer

    Renishaw Raman Spectrometer with Integrated AFM

    Confocal Raman microscope and integrated AFM provides nondestructive chemical composition and phase information at micron-level resolution, in conjunction with topographic, nano-mechanical and electronic properties.  Hot/Cold and heating stages available for temperature-programed spectroscopy.

  • Bruker FTIR Spectrometer

    Bruker FTIR Spectrometer

    The NMCF Bruker Fourier-transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) provides nondestructive compositional information of materials (solids, powders, films, and liquids) based on molecular vibration information, both molecular identification and quantification. Attenuated total reflectance (ATR) and diffuse reflectance assessories are available.

  • Zygo White-light Profilometer

    Zygo White-light Profilometer

    White-light optical profilometry is utilized for determination of surface topography and measurement of surface shape, surface finish, surface profile roughness (Ra), or in surface area roughness (Sa), surface texture, asperity and structural characterization.

  • Hirox Digital Microscope

    Hirox Digital Microscope

    The NMCF Hirox Microscope provides nondestructive digital imaging, videography, and measurement of material surfaces of all kinds. Stage tilt for inspection of surface roughness and stage rotation for object shape information and 3-D modeling are available.

  • Zeiss Discovery Stereomicroscope

    Zeiss Discovery Stereomicroscope

    The Zeiss Stereo Discovery V8 Steromicroscope provides optical brightfield, darkfield, and oblique imaging via transmitted or reflected light for visual inspection of materials at 25-200x. Cross polarizers allow identification of isotropic or anisotopic features, and a long focal length allows easy sample manipulation. An 8-megapixel camera captures high-resolution images and video.

Contact Us

Joe Thompson

Laboratory Specialist, Materials Science & Engineering and VDOT NMCF Principal Scientist for Raman, AFM, SEM/Optical Microscopy, & Metallurgy

Joe Thompson joined the NMCF as a Laboratory Specialist, also providing analysis for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). He specializes in Raman Spectroscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, and Optical and Electron Microscopies. 

Richard White

Laboratory Manager, Materials Science & Engineering NMCF Facility Manager NMCF Principal Scientist for SEM, TEM, Optical, Metallography

Richard White is the NMCF Laboratory Manager and Electron Microscopy & Metallurgy Specialist. He specializes in Scanning Electron Microscopy imaging and compositional analysis; Optical Microscopy; Hardness Measurements; and Metallurgical Techniques for SEM and TEM.