Facilities Descriptions for Proposals

Examples of Equipment & Facilities sections from submitted proposals can be found on the SEAS PreAward Website.

General Description of NMCF Facilities

The Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility (NMCF) is a state-of-the-art user facility located within the University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science. Instruments in the NMCF are available for use by qualified faculty and students at UVa, as well as by researchers from other institutions on a pay-for-time basis. Currently, the NMCF maintains two atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopes (HR-STEM): a scanning FEI Titan with EFTEM and HAADF detector and a Thermo-Fisher Themis Z 60-300 kV HR-TEM, both incorporating EDS and EELS for compositional analysis and mapping.  A Helios dual SEM-focused ion beam (FIB-SEM) system can be utilized for TEM sample preparation, patterning,  SEM imaging or cross-sectional imaging and EDS analysis. Two additional stand-alone scanning electron microscopes (SEM) are available, including a (1) FEI Quanta 650 high-resolution FE-SEM with EDS and EBSD for grain orientation mapping and (2) a desktop ThermoFisher Phenom XLG2 Environmental SEM with EDS.

NMCF also houses four X-ray diffraction (XRD) instruments (Panalytical Empyrean & X'pertPro; Rigaku SmartLab; Bruker D2Phaser) for information on bulk material composition and phase for any polycrystalline material and an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer for highly-sensitive elemental composition. An integrated  Renishaw Raman spectrometer / Bruker atomic force microscope (AFM) system combines molecular identification and surface chemistry with nano-scale surface topography and electrostatics, and a Bruker Invenio-S FTIR can be utilized for molecular chemical fingerprinting and organic identification. These bulk-analysis techniques are complimented by two specialized X-ray photoelectron spectrometers (XPS) for quantitative chemistry and composition determination of the near-surface: one is a small spot, UHV instrument with floating-column ion gun for depth profiling, the second is a unique ambient-pressure XPS with in situ high-temp liquid and gas reaction cells. Available optical instrumentation includes a Zygo 7300 white-light profilometer for surface metrology, and a Hirox digital light microscope for 2D/3D imaging and videography. Additionally, NMCF has a complete suite of metallurgical equipment for cutting, mounting, polishing, sputter coating, etching, and plasma cleaning, as well as Rockwell and Vickers hardness testing.

Additional information and figures for proposals are available for select instrumentation:

Contact Us

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.