Analytic & Measuring services

Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials has disposal of a large and modern instrument park. The Centre offers free capacities of its instrument infrastructure to the partners from industry, state agencies and institutions as well as to public institutions, to perform contract research, measurements or analytic works. The Centre guarantees high quality of its services not only due to top-class instrumentation but also thanks to highly qualified personnel with broad experience from both fundamental and applied research at an international level.

The Centre offers its services mainly in the following areas:

Microscopic Laboratory

This laboratory contains a collection of microscopic techniques whose composition covers a broad range of required analyses. The flagship of this laboratory and the Centre as a whole is the high resolution transmission electron microscope (resolution 0.08nm), capable of measurements under low temperatures (cryoHRTEM) and possessing chemical mapping technology such as EDX and EELS. This microscopic technique is further complemented by a standard transmission electron microscope (TEM), a scanning electron microscope (SEM) utilizing the EDX system, an atomic and magnetic force microscopes (AFM/MFM), as well as a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM). Other microscopic techniques include fluorescent and confocal optical microscopes.

Equipment:


Laboratory of Techniques for Analyses in External Magnetic Fields

This laboratory covers some spectroscopic techniques, as well as tools for measuring the physical and chemical properties of materials in external magnetic fields. There is a SQUID magnetometer (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) working in external fields of up to 7T and allowing the measurements of the FC/ZFC curves, hysteresis loops, temperature dependence and susceptibility, and Mössbauer spectrometry for measurement in a wide range of temperatures and external magnetic fields of up to 10T. Among the newest equipment belong a system for the measurement of physical properties (Physical Property Measuring System – PPMS) permitting the measurement of electrical, magnetic, optical and transport properties in external fields of up to 9T, as well as an NMR spectrometer (600MHz) with the ability to analyze samples in the solid phase.

Equipment:


X-ray Laboratory for Structural and Phase Analysis

This group of techniques includes spectroscopic and diffraction methods employing X-ray radiation for the complex structural, phase and chemical analysis of materials. Available techniques include an X-ray powder diffractometer enabling phase analysis and the processing of samples at high temperatures (XRD) and an X-ray single crystal diffractometer capable of analyzing solid and liquid samples composed of elements in the range from sodium to uranium. A new approach is XPS (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy), which may be used to analyze solid samples composed of elements in the range from lithium to uranium with a depth of up to 10nm.

Equipment:


Laboratory of Spectroscopic, Chromatographic and Thermal Methods

Principally the laboratory contains devices based on mass spectrometry and other spectroscopic techniques, but also includes chromatographic techniques, methods of thermal analysis and calorimetry. Among the equipment used in the laboratory is a high-definition mass spectrometer, an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) with laser ablation, capillary electrophoresis with tandem mass spectrometer, gas or liquid chromatography, atomic absorption spectrometer and elemental analyzer (CHNS). Other techniques which may be used include IR/Raman spectroscopy, a Raman scattering microscope, micro-Raman spectroscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR).

Available techniques for the thermal analysis of materials include a simultaneous thermal analyzer with analysis of evolved gases (TG/DSC/EGA) and an isothermal titration calorimeter.

Equipment:


Laboratory for the Analysis of Size and Surface Properties of Materials

This laboratory relies on a group of techniques permitting the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of surface and size properties of materials, including surface area, surface energy, material porosity, service wettability and particle size distribution. Included is a BET analyzer for the measurement of surface area and material porosity, facilities to measure chemisorption and specific surface area with the capability to perform analyses up to 450°C, a DLS (Dynamic Light Scattering) analyzer for measuring the distribution of particle sizes and zeta potential, and SEA (Surface Energy Analyzer) facilities for measuring surface energy using the inverse gas chromatography method. And last but not least, the wettability of surfaces may be measured using the contact angle method with the option to designate surface tension or the free surface energy of solids.

Equipment:


Optical Laboratory

The optical laboratory possesses unique laser and deposition systems, along with system for machining (nano)surfaces. The laboratory has a picosecond laser system with a high repetition rate, a pulse femtosecond laser system with amplifier and optical parametric amplifier, a pulse femtosecond system featuring “cavity dumping” and generator of the second and third harmonic frequencies, a nanosecond laser and several intensified CCD cameras with high quantum efficiency. Surface and film preparation may be carried out in centres where surfaces are first ground and then polished to be prepared for optical and non-optical use with a roughness value below 10nm. These surfaces may be subsequently processed using a vacuum steam apparatus for the deposition of thin films, a plasma system for the deposition of functional nanocluster structures, and then tested by measuring the composition of gradient films, scatterometry and using optical spectroscopy techniques.

Equipment:



Computational Chemistry Laboratory

The laboratory is equipped with computer clusters for simulating the properties of novel materials, biomacromolecules and hybrid complex systems. The existing software and hardware facilities allow mechanical and electronic properties in the solid phase to be predicted, along with a broad range of the physical-chemical properties of molecules, the conformational behaviour of biomacromolecules, and permit the effectiveness of catalytic processes to be studied and mutual affinities between materials to be evaluated.

The laboratory’s computer clusters contain roughly 3,100 CPUs and 7.3TB of RAM, along with data centres with a total capacity of more than 80TB. Quantum chemical calculations are carried out using Gaussian, Molpro, Turbomole, VASP, Molcas, Abinit softwares. AMBER, CHARMM, NAMD and GROMACS softwares are used, among others, for molecular dynamics simulations.

Equipment:

  • Computing time [catalogue sheet]
  • 2048+512-core cluster – more informations soon

Synthesis Laboratory

Not all the techniques possessed by the Centre are intended for the characterization of materials. The Centre also possesses a wide range of techniques and facilities for the preparation and processing of materials under laboratory and pilot plant conditions, such as reaction autoclaves, laboratory ovens, microwave systems for material preparations, nanoparticle dispersion units, a jet and ball mill for homogenizing particles, centrifuges, ultrasound equipment and deposition systems employing cold plasma. Large-scale nanomaterial preparation methods developed in the laboratory may be tested using pilot plant fluid and rotation furnaces for working in inert, oxidation and reducing atmospheres.

Equipment:


Any additional information on request:
rcptm.services@upol.cz