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Nanocharacterisation Platform

Published on 18 January 2022

​Nanocharacterisation Platform

Looking deep inside materials 

The Nanocharacterization Platform is operated jointly by CEA-Liten, CEA-Leti, and IRIG. It has around 50 pieces of advanced characterization equipment. The platform serves as a center for expertise in sample preparation, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray imaging, molecular spectroscopy, and surface and ion beam analysis, supporting the CEA's research by providing information on the properties inside materials as well as at the surface and interfaces.

The platform can probe the structure of materials at resolutions from a few hundred micrometers to the Angstrom using techniques like WAXS, SAXS, EBSD SEM, TEM, HR-TEM, FIB SEM (3D), and X-ray tomography. Spectroscopy (EELS, EDS) can be used to provide information on the chemical nature of a material or chemical and electronic environments. The platform can also perform surface analyses (XPS, TOF-SIMS, Nano Auger), and use molecular vibrational spectroscopy (Raman, FTIR). With such a wide range of techniques available, researchers can combine several sources of information to create multi-scale analyses and make more reliable interpretations by correlating data from different tools.

The platform is at the international state of the art, with advanced characterization equipment like the TiTAN Themis, a 50-picometer-resolution transmission electron microscope that also provides local chemical information. The platform also has an XPS/HAXPES instrument that uses high-energy X-rays (Cr-Kα source) and a conventional Al-Kα source to analyze the chemical and electronic structure of buried surfaces, films, and interfaces. And with a 3D FIB SEM (potentially cryo), the platform can perform tomographic analyses down to a few nanometers.

CEA-Liten's characterization activities are backed by in-depth knowledge of materials used in electrochemical systems like batteries, fuel cells, and high-temperature electrolyzers, as well as in metal alloys, photovoltaic cells, catalysts, and polymers.

The platform also works closely with Grenoble's large European instruments (the ESRF synchrotron and the ILL neutron beamline) for access to additional characterization equipment to round out the analyses completed on the platform's own equipment.