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National Graphene Institute

Close up of microscope lenses and material on a slide

Characterisation facility

The NGI has a wide array of characterisation equipment  in order to measure and assess the materials, formulations and devices produced by our researchers and project teams.

You can find more detail on the technical specifications of our equipment by browsing the tabs and links below.

AFM/SECM suite

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a particularly powerful tool for analysing 2D materials and a fast-scan option allows rapid exploration of a large sample. A whole range of forces can be used to investigate the sample surface including friction, magnetic, electrostatics, and electric current. The AFM can also be operated in liquid environments, and under heating or cooling.

This AFM has an electrochemical module to image the nanoscale structures of electrochemical reactions on an electrode surface.

Both EC-AFM and EC-STM modes are available where the electrode is applied to the sample and both the sample and tip respectively. Applications include energy storage materials and electrocatalysts.

Scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) measures the local electrochemical behaviour at a liquid-solid interface. Typically, a solid sample is used and forms the counter electrode. This sample is immersed in electrolyte and a ultramicrocapillary containing the working electrode is scanned across the surface.

Find out more:

Open One laboratory

The NGI 'Open One' research laboratory is a hive instrumentation for 2D materials characterisation. Research group lead and NGI facility managed, the area has specialist thermal and surface characterisation capability; nano-NMR, porosity, BET, touch-point and microscopy.

Discover more about our advanced characterisation equipment:

Nano IR3 range

The combined fast Nano-scale infrared spectroscopy (nanoIR) mapping and scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM). This system will provide sub-20 nm complex optical property imaging of 2D materials, in the visible and infrared spectral space & THz wavelengths (Full Broadband capability).

The (Nano IR2 & 3 system) can manage air-sensitive materials under inert (Ar) atmospheres and provide unprecedented characterisation capabilities in support in the ongoing development of 2D materials applications. Find out more about these systems at the links below:

Raman capability

Raman spectroscopy is quick, easy and non-destructive optical methods for chemical and structural characterisation, which is suitable for investigation of the samples in solid or liquid states.

Analysis of the Raman spectra provide combines information about composition, quality, thickness, doping effect, stress, temperature, orientation and crystallinity of the materials, as well as the grain size of the thin graphene film and number of layers in 2D structures. We have many multiple beam Raman’s covering the analytical wavelengths.

Find out more: