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Nanocharacterization and Fabrication Instrumentation


AFM Veeco MultiMode



The AFM at the Center is a Veeco MultiMode scanning probe microscope (SPM) with Nanonis control electronics.. This Veeco nanoscope has both contact and tapping mode as well as scanning tunneling microscopy capabilities. The image below (Au on HOPG, 10 micron x 10 micron image) was obtained by summer REU students. AFM Au on HOPG





Zeiss Sigma VP-SEM


A Zeiss Sigma VP Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM) with an Oxford Instruments energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) X-Max 80^2.  The FE-SEM is equipped with an in-lens SE2 detector,  a back-scatter detector, and STEM detector in addition to the standard Everhart-Thornley SE2 detector. It can be run in variable pressure mode with a cathodouminescence detector for imaging of non-conductive samples.


A Hitachi TM-1000 table top SEM was acquired through a grant from the Connecticut Office of Workforce Competitiveness. This instrument operates at 15 kV and operates in either standard or charge reduction mode. Images are obtained using a backscatter detector. Reduced vacuum requirements allow for minimal specimen preparation. The instrument is outfitted with an analytical drift detector for energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS, Oxford Instruments) with no liquid nitrogen requirement.This SEM is used for research (e.g. REU and RET programs) as well as educational outreach with the "Seeing is Believing" Initiative.




FEI Tecnai F-12 Spirit



A 120kV FEI Tecnai Spirit with a Gatan Orius Fiberoptic CCD digital camera enable users to capture and analyze data from the TEM. 






Gentle Mill

 TEM Specimen Preparation

Proper specimen preparation is key to success in high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. The CSCU-CNT has several instruments to achieve reliable, reproducible and artifact-free TEM samples. A Gentle Mill provides low voltage, low angle, argon ion milling designed to minimize ion beam damage.






Two Allied High Tech Polishing systems (a MultiPrep and a TechPrep) are used for preparation of TEM wedge cross-sections or flat polished samples.




A Leica EM UC7 ultramicrotome with an FC7 Crion cryo cutting option is available for preparation of biological or soft material samples for TEM.

Leica EM UC7 and FC7 ultramicrotome and cryo
















A NanoInk, Inc. NLP 2000 is used to create arrays of micro- or nanodots in programmable patterns on a variety of substrates. Several different types of "ink" can be used. Currently students are fabricating arrays of nanodots using dispersions of metal nanoparticles.




 A Nanotech Innovations, Inc. SSP-354 is used to make carbon nanotubes using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process.



Other equipment at the center includes:
                                        SPI Gold Sputter Coater
                                        Allied High Tech, Inc. Techcut-4 wafering saw
                                        Zeiss Axiolab A.1 Optical Microscope
                                        Olympus Inverted Optical Microscope
                                        Olympus BH-2 metallurgical microscope
                                        Sorvall Ultra-Microtome, MT-2


Information on our instrumentation is also located on the CRISP MRSEC webpage.

Partial Funding by NSF MRSEC DMR 1119826 • DOE DE-SC0005904 & DOE DE-SC0005072