Our equipment

Our laboratories are equipped with a wide range of scanning proximity probes, which allows us to investigate both nanometer-sized inorganic/organic structures and micrometer-sized biological and medical samples. The study of nanostructures is carried out with four different SPM systems. These studies are performed in a vacuum. Studies of biomedical systems are performed with two specialized SPMs that enable the testing of samples both in the ambient environment and the liquid.

Another atomic force microscope, IR- spectrometer, ellipsometry, or contact angle measurements are used to investigate various properties of synthesized self-assembled monolayers. These samples are prepared in a preparation room in a controlled environment.

Metastability Exchange Optical Pumping Polarizer is applied to create nuclear hyperpolarization in 3He and 129Xe, which, combined with the MRI scanner, enables 3-dimensional imaging of the inside of the human lungs.

Finally, a multi-node server equipped with 356 processing units is employed to model processes occurring at the solid and liquid surfaces.

LT-4probe from Omicron NanoTechnology GmbH

The Low-Temperature NANOPROBE defines a new class of analytical instrumentation that merges SEM-navigated local transport measurements with atomic-scale precision, high-performance STM imaging, spectroscopy, and manipulation at liquid He temperature. This unique system is equipped with four independent atomic resolution SPMs, and the SEM imaging for rapid tip navigation.

View on the Chamber with SEM Gemini Column (Carl Zeiss)

Sample/tip Exchange in the 4-probe System

Mounting plate with Four Independent STM Heads Removed from the Vacuum System

LT STM (QPlus AFM) Omicron NanoTechnology GmbH

Since its introduction in 1996, Scienta Omicron's Low Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (LT STM) has set the standard for stability, performance and productivity for 4LHe bath cryostat STMs. It is a high quality all-rounder SPM delivering broad scientific output and regularly ground-breaking results employing usually more than one technique. It's base is an ultra-stable platform offering a large range of operation modes including STM, QPlus AFM, STS, IETS, force spectroscopy, optical experiments and atom manipulation.

Deep understanding of individual molecules and their chemistry, interaction with light, manufacturing of atomic scale device, 2D materials, superconductors, semiconductors, gases on metals, and magnetics are only a few examples where research takes great advantage of low temperature SPM. Within all these areas more publications have been produced with our LT STM than with all other commercial low temperature SPMs combined.

LT-STM vacuum system

Inside the Vacuum Preparation Chamber

Inside the vacuum

JPK Bruker NanoWizard® 3 NanoScience AFM for Bio-Medical Studies

The NanoWizard® 3 NanoScience system design provides the highest AFM performance in liquids and air, integrated with optical microscopy. It provides optimum imaging in air and liquid for single molecules, polymers and nanomaterials. The tip-scanning head equipped with a flexure scanner gives highest flexibility for a large variety of different samples. In particular, large sample size scanning is possible. The expanded flexibility and modularity of design coupled with the widest range of operation modes and accessories from electrochemistry to the tip-assisted optics module makes this the ideal platform for multiple users and applications.

The core of the new system family is HyperDrive™, a Super Resolution AFM imaging technique. With extremely low tip-sample interactions, samples are never damaged. It is available with the NanoWizard® 3 AFM head and the new Vortis™ high bandwidth, low noise control electronics. The system is extremely stable to drift and has the ability to detect the smallest cantilever deflections enabling some of the most stunning images ever produced in a commercial system. This digital controller has been built with flexible operation for the user in mind.The NanoWizard® 3 is the only AFM system on the market which is designed for optimal use in liquid and comes with a vapour barrier, encapsulated piezos and a variety of dedicated liquid cells for applications ranging from single molecule experiments to corrosion in an electrochemical environment.

View on the Bruker JPK Scanning Probe system for Biomedical studies

View on the Brucker JPK Scanning Probe system for Biomedical Studies

The AFM-Raman System for Biomedical Studies

Most biological phenomena occur at the nanometer scale, which is not accessible by the conventional optical techniques because of the optical diffraction limitation. Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS), one of the burgeoning probing techniques, not only can provide the topography characterization with high resolution, but also can deliver the chemical or molecular information of a sample beyond the optical diffraction limitation.

How to demonstrate the relationship between the structure, function and chemical information of biological molecules in natural environments has always been one of the big challenges in life science. AFM-TERS can provide both the structure and chemical information of a sample at the nanoscale simultaneously in various experimental conditions, which causes AFM-TERS to be widely used in biological samples such as nucleic acids, proteins, pathogens, lipids and cell membranes, etc.

View on the SmartSPM Scanning Probe Microscope Horiba Integrated with Raman Spectrometer for Biomedical Studies

The Infra-Red Spectrometer from Thermo Scientific and SPM SAM

Thermo Scientific Nicolet 6700 FT-IR spectrometer is a fully upgradeable, routine and advanced research FT-IR spectrometer focused on power and flexibility. The Nicolet 6700 FT-IR spectrometer has the power to handle both research and routine analysis experiments. Every facet of the Nicolet 6700 FT-IR spectrometer has been engineered to facilitate sample handling, provide options for integration in the laboratory, and increase laboratory throughput. With a huge installed base worldwide, a superior service team and the flexibility for many applications, the Nicolet 6700 is an excellent laboratory investment for both the present and future. The Thermo Scientific Nicolet 6700 spectrometer is the industry standard for performance and sampling options, making it a powerful component of any laboratory. The base systems are optimized for mid-IR performance; many options provide superb performance from the far-IR to near-IR and visible ranges.

The Nicolet 6700 incorporates extensive capabilities for handling optical filters, polarizers and mirrors for specific applications through the OMNIC Software suite. The Nicolet 6700 can perform time-based studies, rapid scans and low-light level measurements by proper selection of components. This opens a huge range of applications oriented solutions.

View on the IR spectrometer in the SAM Lab

Scanning Probe Microscope for SAMs Analysis

Preparation Room for Chemical and Biological Samples

The room is equipped with NuAire Biological Safety Cabinet NU-425-600. It is an effective primary engineering control in obtaining the optimum product quality while reducing the potential for exposure of both product and personnel to airborne biological or particulate chemical agents in low to moderate risk-hazard research and drug preparation.

Preparation Room for Chemical and Biological Samples

Biological Safety Cabinet for Preparation Biological Samples

UHV AFM/STM from Omicron NanoTechnology GmbH

The Omicron "UHV AFM/STM", including a computer with NANONIS control electronics, is a mixed device for AFM and STM studies of molecules deposited on oxide surfaces. The preparation chamber allows depositing a controlled amount of selected material. It is equipped with a Residual Gas Analyzer, Deposition based on Kentax evaporator, and Quartz microbalance for determination of the layer thickness.

The UHV system with RT AFM/STM from Omicron NanoTechnology GmbH

View on chamber with a Chemispherical Analyser

Inside of the UHV System

VT SPM from Omicron NanoTechnology GmbH

The Scienta Omicron VT SPM is the most commonly used workhorse SPM for room- and variable temperature applications. More than 500 instruments have been delivered and successfully installed around the world. The volume of research results including several thousand referenced publications is a conclusive proof for the performance, quality, and versatility of the Variable Temperature SPM design.

Vacuum System of the Variable Temperature (VT) SPM from Omicron NanoTechnology

Inside the Vacuum

Our laboratories

Most of our laboratories are located on the ground floor of Building B in the Clean Labs Section. The Optical Polarization Laboratory is located in room C-0-01 of Building C. The RT UHV STM/AFM lab is located in room D-0-31 of Building D.