MSE Briefs

Announcements and updates by the faculty and students of the UVA Department of Materials Science and Engineering

    NMCF Users Meeting for Phase 1 Policies

    June 24, 2020

    NMCF Phase 1 Startup Meeting to Clarify New Safety Procedures

    NMCF Manager, Richard White, will be hosting a remote informational meeting for all NMCF instrument users to clarify the new Phase 1 safety procedures that have been instituted. Please join Richard for a ZOOM Meeting on Monday, 29 June 2020 at 10AM for information and discussion on current NMCF instrument use. Connect via the Zoom Link below:

    Topic: NMCF Phase I Policy Meeting

    Time: Jun 29, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting:

    Oxford Instruments offering free AZtec Suite software for electron microscopy analysis.....

    April 17, 2020

    Oxford Instruments is offering a free, time-limited offline license for the whole of their AZtec suite software for SEM/TEM/FIB/EDS/EBSD analysis to support customers working from home during the coronavirus shutdown.

    Aztec Suite.JPG

    Information and Free Download Link are available on the Oxford Website.


    This temporary software license includes:

    • AZtecFeature is an innovative particle analysis system specifically optimised for usability and high-speed throughput. It combines the raw speed and sensitivity of the Ultim Max Silicon Drift Detector with the superior analytical performance and ease of use of the AZtec® EDS analysis suite to create the most advanced automated particle analysis platform on the market.
    • Gunshot Residue Analysis in the SEM with AZtecGSR is fast and accurate: it gives reproducible Gunshot Residue Analysis results to ASTM E1588 - 10e1. AZtecGSR combines ease of use through its guided workflow, with the ultimate accuracy using the latest Ultim Max detectors and Tru-Q® algorithms.
    • LayerProbe is an exciting software tool for thin film analysis in the SEM. An option for the AZtec EDS microanalysis system, LayerProbe is faster, more cost-effective and higher resolution than dedicated thin film measurement tools.
    • The most powerful EBSD software available, AZtecHKL combines speed and accuracy of results for routine analysis, with the flexibility and power required for applications that push the frontiers of EBSD.
    • AZtec3D combines simultaneous EDS and EBSD data acquisition & analysis with the automated milling capabilities of a FIB-SEM.
    • AZtecLiveOne software platform is the ideal solution for carrying out a complex task like EDS as quickly and as easily as possible. No need for substantial training or advanced knowledge of the EDS technique. Users can be trained in a matter of minutes and will have complete confidence in their results.
    • AZtecTEM is an innovative EDS software specifically optimised for advanced TEM applications.
    • AZtecSynergy provides a powerful solution for the simultaneous collection of EDS and EBSD data. All of the tools to collect excellent integrated data are included in one place with no complicated switching from one navigator to another.
    • AZtecSteel is an automated steel inclusion analysis package developed specifically for the analysis and classification of steel inclusions using Energy Dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDS) in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). It detects, measures and analyses the inclusions, processes the resulting data set to published standard methods, and includes functionality to plot complex ternary diagrams.
    • AZtecLive is a revolutionary new approach to EDS analysis that enables a radical change in the way users perform sample investigation in the SEM. It combines a live electron image with live X-ray chemical imaging to give an intuitive new way of interacting with your samples.
    • Collecting good quality data is only the beginning of any complete EBSD analysis. AZtecCrystal provides all the necessary tools to process and interrogate your EBSD data and to solve your materials problems. Seamlessly integrated with AZtecHKL or operated as a standalone program, AZtecCrystal sets the standard in EBSD data processing for experts and novices alike.
    • AZtecAM is a powerful, automated, solution for the analysis of metal powders used in additive manufacturing. Based on AZtecFeature, AZtecAM optimises the particle analysis workflow to enable the rapid and accurate characterisation of metal powders.
    • AZtecMineral is a powerful, automated, Mineral Liberation Analysis solution. It enables ore characterisation, provides vital data on metal recovery and enables process yield characterisation using multipurpose SEMs. It is also a valuable tool for the characterisation of rocks in research environments, enabling the automation of otherwise laborious optical analyses.









    Due to the COVID 19 virus the NMCF will be closing Friday afternoon, March 20, 2020.

    March 20, 2020

    Due to the COVID 19 virus the NMCF will be closing Friday afternoon, March 20, 2020.


    This is for the safety of the Staff and Students and to lessen your risk to exposure.


    We will announce when we are planning to reopen the facility for use again.


    Thanks for your Patience and understanding during these difficult times.


    POSTPONED: XPS Peak Fitting Class with Prof. Reinke

    March 09, 2020

    XPS Quantification and Peak Fitting Analysis Course

    What: Informal lecture class and discussion concerning different approaches to XPS data analysis led by Prof. Petra Reinke. Shockingly, peak-fitting all data is not always the best route to take! And how to use fitting to extract most from your data. 

    When: Thursday March 12th from 4-6 pm  (There might be pizza....)

    Where: Wilsdorf Hall Room 101

    If you  have  a specific question, there is still time to add it to the discussion:


    Note: This course will be recorded for those that cannot make it. No specific software will be taught - mostly because preferences differ - and there are at least three different programs in  use: CasaXPS, Multipak, and KolXPD.






    Pristine Apollo soil samples examined with NMCF's state-of-the-art X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS)

    September 09, 2019

    To the Moon!

    In preparation for future Moon missions, NASA scientists stored away small quantities of returned Apollo samples in special containment vessels for later analysis.These containment modules were devised to meticulously preserve fragile and transitory sample characteristics (e.g., solar wind volatiles, volatile coatings). Fifty years later, with advent of new and more sensitive analytical techniques, these vessels will be opened and the lunar core samples analyzed on our imaging XPS . UVa's NMCF will be part of that process, as Research Scientist Catherine Dukes, studies the volatile species deposited on the surfaces of volcanic pyroclastic grains found at different depths within the lunar core tube. 

    Research scientist Catherine Dukes inserts a vacuum tube into an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer to get a precise look at lunar material. (Photo by Chris Tyree)

    Research scientist Catherine Dukes inserts a sample using the vacuum transfer vessel into an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer to get a precise look at lunar material. (Photo by Chris Tyree)