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, or cross-sectional analysis. Two 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.

NNMCF 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 an imaging X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) for quantitative chemistry and composition of the near-surface (~5nm) with floating-column ion gun for depth profiling, 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: