After Café

WHEN: Select Tuesdays 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM, February 13 - April 16

WHERE: 3rd Floor Commons, Millennium Science Complex

WHO: Any student, staff, or faculty interested in learning more about MCL capabilities

A casual opportunity immediately following the Millennium Café to learn about the breadth of analytical capabilities within the Materials Characterization Laboratory (MCL).  These brief (30 minute) multi-technique and interdisciplinary talks will highlight applications (not theory) to provide useful insights to novice and experienced researchers working across various science and engineering challenges.

MCL now offers a range of analytical techniques that can be used to determine important electronic properties of your device or material system. These properties include: band gap (Eg), work function (WF), valence band maximum (VBM), ionization energy (IE), electron affinity (EA), conduction band minimum (CBM) and carrier concentration. We have techniques for studying electronic defect states in the band gap which can impact device performance and for those making heterojunctions we can determine valence and conduction band offsets. This talk will provide an overview of these parameters and how they can be measured within MCL along with details about sample requirements and limitations.

The specific technique, details of the acquisition method, along with how data is processed all influence the quantification of surface roughness.  Furthermore, the commonly reported roughness parameters of average roughness and RMS roughness are often inadequate to fully characterize the texture of a surface.  This talk will provide an overview of what differences you should expect between surface roughness data coming from AFM, OP, and even stylus profilometry as well as an introduction to advanced surface texture parameters.

EDS in SEM is often used to map compositional information across length scales ranging from microns down to many nanometers and EDS in TEM can provide analogous information on the nanometer scale. However, it is often helpful to have information complementary to the elemental information attainable via EDS. The MCL has several techniques capable of providing information about chemical bonding, oxidation states, and chemical structure. In this talk, we will highlight several spectroscopic techniques such as XPS, EELS, Raman, or FTIR which can provide information at various length scales and across a range of materials.

For many materials the direction (or orientation) of the crystal planes impacts the overall properties.  The simplest example is the difference between a single-crystalline and polycrystalline sample.  But even polycrystalline samples need not be completely random; some crystalline planes may preferentially align with certain directions.  Such a sample is said to be oriented or textured. Orientation influences grain boundaries, mechanical and electrical properties, and more.  We will discuss X-ray scattering, electron microscopy and other methods available in the MCL that can be used to determine orientation of crystalline domains across a range of materials.

Cross-sectional SEM imaging is commonly used in nanofabrication for coating thickness measurement, process verification, and failure analysis. Cleaving is frequently the method of choice for generating a cross-sectional sample for analysis.  However, this approach may inadvertently damage the sample which then poses challenges for accurate imaging.  By using a focused ion beam (FIB) instrument it is possible to create highly site specific cross sections with minimal artifacts for almost any structure/device/material.  In this talk I will highlight several applications for the efficient use of FIB ross-sectional imaging to accurately characterize a range of devices and layered material systems.

A publication is often considered to be a key product of academic research. It is the public-facing record of the research that is archived and available for others to read, as well as part of a portfolio that impacts the professional advancement of researchers. Authorship is therefore an important aspect of a publication. This talk will highlight some considerations that are relevant when determining the list of authors that is included on a publication. Emphasis will be placed on practical guidelines and best practices that are recommended by federal funding agencies, journals, and institutions. 

While most researchers are familiar with standard “macro” FTIR, Raman, and UV-Vis.  It is less known that the MCL currently maintains instrumentation capable of acquiring high spatial resolution data for all of the aforementioned molecular spectroscopy techniques.  This talk will discuss the applications of AFM-IR (Nano-IR), Micro-FT-IR and Micro-UV-Vis while highlighting the limitations of each techniques as it relates to sample preparation requirements and common artifacts.