Our Facilities

If you are interested in using any of our equipment, please contact the group member in charge. Other techniques are readily available within the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials.

Synthesis: Ceramics

  • Press
  • Furnaces
  • Chemistry Lab

Synthesis: Thin Films

  • Pulsed Laser Deposition
  • Spin Coating
  • Sputtering*
  • Atomic Layer Deposition*

*At NanolabNL

X-ray Characterization

Thin Film Diffraction

For structural characterization of thin films the MSC counts with a Philips X'pert four axes diffractometer equipped with primary and secondary optics. X-rays characteristic of Cu are generated by a PW-3373/00 (Cu LFF DK 127355) X-ray tube operated at V=40 kV and I=40 mA. In the line focus mode the beam size is ~ 12 mm x 0.4 mm. This beam is made parallel (horizontal divergence ~ 0.05°) and monochromatic by a hybrid X-ray mirror.
The spectral range of this monochromator is larger than that of the so-called four-crystal monochromators but delivers a much more intense beam, composed mainly of K1 (λ = 1.54059 Å), the K2 radiation being suppressed to less than 0.1 %. In the diffraction path an antiscatter slit, 0.04 rad Soller slits and a programmable receiving slit, are used in combination with a proportional detector. Other possibilites include point-focus mode for stress and texture measurements and the use of an analyser crystal. A heating stage (Anton Paar) is also available to heat up until 900°C under vacuum or with a N2, O2 or Ar flow.

Figure 1. Panalytical Xpert MRD - Thin film diffractometer.

Figure 1. Panalytical Xpert MRD - thin film diffractometer.

Powder Diffraction

Bruker D8 Advance. We use a Copper X-ray tube operated at 40 kV and 40 mA. It has Twin Optics for parrallel beam measurements or a motorized slits set-up as a Bragg-Bretano system and has a Lynxeye 1D stripe detector.
Bruker D8 Endeavor. Automated X-ray diffractometer for standard powder XRD measurements.

Figure 2. Bruker D8 Advance - Powder diffractometer

Figure 2. Bruker D8 Advance - powder diffractometer.

Figure 3. Bruker D8 Endeavor - Automated powder diffractometer

Figure 3. Bruker D8 Endeavor - automated powder diffractometer.

Single Crystal Diffraction

Bruker D8 Venture dual beam setup. We can either use a Molybdenum X-ray Tube or Copper High brilliance microsource with a Photon 100 2D detector. We can measure in a temperature range of 100 K - 450 K.

Figure 4. Bruker D8 Venture - Single crystal diffractometer.

Figure 4. Bruker D8 Venture - Single crystal diffractometer.

Property Characterization

Ferroelectric and Piezoelectric properties

Ferroelectric, piezoelectric, pyroelectric and electromechanical properties are measured in thin films and bulk materials using an aixACCT double beam laser interferometer and an aixACCT thin film analyser. A Radiant Precision Workstation is also available for ferroelectric loop measurements. For pyroelectric current measurements, two Keithley electrometers are also available.
Local piezoelectric, magnetic, and conductivity measurements are performed using a scanning probe microscope (VEECO Dimension V with TUNA module).
The electric field generated in a piezoelectric material per unit mechanical stress applied to it (piezoelectric voltage coefficient g) can be measured using the Universal Testing System INSTRON 5940.

Figure 6. AixACCT System.

Figure 5. AixACCT System.

Magnetic Properties Measurement System (MPMS)

MPMS is a very sensitive magnetometer due to the utilization of a liquid Helium cooled SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) to measure changes in the magnetic flux, which is converted to and measured as current, as the sample moves through the superconducting detection coil.
Our Quantum Design MPMS makes it possible to study the magnetic properties of materials at temperatures from 1.8 to 400 K under magnetic fields of up to 7 Tesla. For measurements up to 800 K, a sample space oven has been implemented. It is possible to measure materials in powder, single-crystal or pellet form.

Figure 7. Quantum Design MPMS - XL 7T squid magnetometer 2 - 800 K.

Figure 6. Quantum Design MPMS - XL 7T squid magnetometer 2 - 800K.

Electrical Measurements

Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS)

PPMS is a cryogenic platform used to carry out temperature and magnetic field dependent physical measurements. Transport measurements, such as resistivity, Hall effect, Seebeck effect, magnetoresistance, as well as capacitance and magnetocapacitance, pyroelectric and ferroelectric measurements can be performed. By means of a sample rotator, it is possible to easily measure anisotropic properties of single crystal samples. The measurements are controlled by using LabView and Visual Basic programs.

Temperature range: 2 to 400 K
Maximum magnetic field: 9 T


  • Heat Capacity
  • Thermal Transport (AC resistivity, Seebeck, Thermal conductivity)
  • Torque Magnetometry
  • Vibrating Sample Magnetometer
  • Sample Rotator
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy by attocube Systems
  • Probe Stations
    Two probe stations with 4 probe micro manipulators are available:

  • Janis probe station for low temperature measurements (5 K - RT)
  • Custom-made probe station with high temperature Thermo chuck (RT - 900 K)
  • Imina Micromanipulator miBot with heating stage
  • Imina semi-automatic probe station
  • Electrical Measurements
    The electrical characterizations can be done using:

  • Keithley 6517A Electrometer for measuring high resistance and small current measurements (100 aA resolution in 20 pA range).
  • Keithley 4200-SCS Parameter Analyzer with 4 SMU (source measure unit), 1 PMU (ultra-fast pulse measure unit), 1 CVU (capacitance voltage unit: 1kHz-10MHz ) and Remote Preamplifier/Switch module.
  • Keithley 6221 DC and AC current source (AC currents from 4 pA to 210 mA with sine waves up to 100 kHz).
  • Keithley 236/237 Source Measure Units.
  • Stanford Research Systems SR830 Lock-In Amplifiers.
  • Stanford Research Systems SR560 low noise Pre-Amplifier.
  • HP/Agilent 3458A, 3457A, 3478A DMM.
  • Agilent E4980A LCR (20Hz to 2MHz).
  • Agilent 4155B Semiconductor Parameter Analyzer.
  • Cypher ES - Atomic Force Microscope.
  • Imina Micromanipulator miBot.

  • Figure 8. Quantum Design PPMS Physical Property Measurement System 9T 2-400K.

    Figure 7. Quantum Design PPMS Physical Property Measurement System 9T 2-400K.

    Figure 9. Janis' low temperature probestation.

    Figure 8. Janis' low temperature probestation.

    Figure 10. Keithley 4200 - SCS Parameter Analyzer.

    Figure 9. Keithley 4200 - SCS Parameter Analyzer.

    Figure 11. Cypher ES - AFM.

    Figure 10. Cypher ES - AFM.

    Scanning Probe Microscopy

    The study of the surfaces at the nanoscale level can be done using:

  • Cypher ES - Atomic Force Microscope
  • Bruker ICON
  • Attocube Systems Quantum Design (combined with Physical Property Measurement System)
  • Figure 12. Bruker ICON AFM.

    Figure 11. Bruker ICON AFM.