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Materials Characterization

Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS)

Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) is a standard procedure for identifying and quantifying elemental composition of sample areas of a micron or less. The characteristic X-rays are produced when a material is bombarded with electrons in an electron beam instrument, such as a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Detection of these x-rays can be accomplished by an energy dispersive spectrometer, which is a solid state device that discriminates among X-ray energies.

Faculty Experts: 
Anderson, Julie

Electron Backscattered Diffractometry (EBSD)

Electron Backscattered Diffractometry (EBSD) is based on automatic indexing of electron backscatter diffraction patterns (EBSP) which can be produced in a properly equipped SEM. OIM provides a complete description of the crystallographic orientations in polycrystalline materials.

Faculty Experts: 
Anderson, Julie
Clark, Trevor

Contact Angle/Pendant Drop

The contact angle is the angle formed when a drop of liquid meets a solid surface. It is used to characterize the wetting properties of surfaces, by using the Young equation. When the contact angle of a drop in a surface is over 90° the surface is referred as hydrophobic, which refers to poor wetting. When the angle is below 90° the surface is referred as hydrophilic. Contact angle is often used to measure cleanliness, roughness, absorption, surface heterogeneity, among other properties.

Faculty Experts: 
Wetherington, Maxwell

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

An Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) provides 3 dimensional topographic information about a sample by probing its surface structure with a very sharp tip. The tip is scanned laterally across the surface, and the vertical movements of the tip are recorded and used to construct a quantitative 3 dimensional topographic map. The lateral resolution of the image can be as small as the tip radius (typically 5-15 nm), and the vertical resolution can be on the order of angstroms.

Faculty Experts: 
Tighe, Tim

Field Emission Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES)

A focused electron beam (3-20 keV) is scanned across a sample surface. Atoms near the surface are ionized, and a fraction of the ionized atoms relax via the Auger process. The spectrometer ultimately measures the kinetic energy distribution of a portion of the Auger electrons that are emitted from the sample. The technique is inherently surface sensitive because the Auger electrons have low energy (<2kv). The Auger spectra contain information about the concentration and chemical environment (i.e. oxidation state) of surface and near surface atoms.

Faculty Experts: 
Shallenberger, Jeff


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