Interface, microstructure, and particle analysis
Knowledge relating to the processes that take place on material surfaces during the manufacture and use of products is crucial for the industry. Analyzing surfaces and microstructures is the starting point for product analysis and improvement, and for quality assurance during production. In order to respond to customers' often very different issues, the NMI is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation. We develop and utilize state-of-the-art instruments to analyze surface processes, microstructures and nanoparticles right down to the atomic level.
The precise analysis and depiction of processes and effects on material surfaces plays a key role, for example, in optimizing the passivation of medical instruments or components used in mechanical and automotive engineering. The NMI is the only institute in the world to use a nano-cryo secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS) for the preparation and analysis of samples containing water, moist coatings, solid-fluid interfaces and a large number of biological/technical interfaces with high spatial resolution.
We have an extensive range of equipment for spectroscopic and microscopic analyses of material samples from all sectors of industry:
Surface topography and dimensional accuracy
Light microscopy (LM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM and ESEM), profilometry, atomic force microscopy (AFM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning tunnel microscopy (STM).
Surface chemistry and atomic composition
Photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, HRXPS), secondary ion and secondary neutral mass spectrometry (SIMS or SNMS), Raman spectroscopy, optical spectrometry (UV/VIS/IR) and Fourier-transformed infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, energy loss spectroscopy and energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis (EELS/TEM and EDX TEM, EDX ESEM).
Inner solid-state properties
Micro-cross-section analysis (FIB, SEM, EDX) with simultaneous visual check using CrossBeam®.
Most of the above-mentioned methods are performed in laboratories accredited to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. The QM system is also applied to other methods.