MINAFAB Characterization equipments

Scanning Probe Microscope  NTEGRA Aura -  NT-MDT

Technical characteristics:

Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM) performs 3 dimensional imaging of the topography and studying other physical properties of sample surfaces on a scale from microns down to the nanometric level. Measurements could be done in ambient atmosphere or in controlled atmosphere.

  • Scan range: 100x100x10 μm.
  • Non-linearity in X, Y with closed-loop sensors < 0.15 %.
  • Positioning sensitivity: 2 μm


The equipment enables several related techniques for high resolution imaging and measuring of surfaces, the properties which could be characterized depending on the chosen technique.
Main applications - in the field of surface metrology, for quantitative measurements of the 3D surface topography for a large variety of samples.
Key advantages of the technique as compared with other microscopies as optical and SEM :  

  • ability of measuring the vertical dimensions of the samples together with lateral ones with little or no sample preparation required
  • samples could be measured in various environments (normal ambient, controlled gaseous, liquid, low vacuum)

The range of samples that could be imaged: very large, no matter of  the sample conductivity, covering metallic, ceramic, polymeric and semiconducting materials .
Briefly: The SPM microscope could in principle image and perform three dimensional measurements of any surface features from surface roughness to nanometer-sized features.


Application fields:

  • Evaluation and optimization of thin film coatings for various applications (optical, packaging, paintings, wear-resistant etc);
  • High-resolution surface profilometry;
  • Grain and particle size analysis;
  • Surface cleaning and polishing studies  (Characterization of optical surfaces roughness, electro-polished metal surface evaluation etc);
  • Microstructural studies (Pharmaceutical, Polymers);
  • Morphological studies of biological and biocompatible materials;
  • Virtually any other field where nanometer-sized surfaces are concrened;


Examples of provided services:

  • Surface morphology inspection;
  • Quantitative measurement of  surface features at nanometric level;
  • Nano-surface texture/ roughness measurement;

AFM image of a ZnO thin film on Si.  Scan range: 40x40 microns.
The AFM image was used for evaluating the growth pattern of ZnO, for applications in optolectronic devices and gas sensors.

AFM image of step patterned  Si. Individual step height: 15 nm. Individual atomic planes could be noticed in the 3D rendered image.



Application scientist: phys. Raluca Gavrila, [email protected]



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Last update: March 5, 2012