We analyse and examine technical surfaces and more...
As a competent user service lab with main focus on Scanning Probe Microscopy we carry out analytical and user-related investigations on practically all kind of technical surfaces. The lab is also open to students and researchers of other groups within the Physics Department to perform measurements on their own after training. Besides Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), other imaging surface technologies like Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) are also used for our analysis.
While AFM and SEM are powerful instruments to image the surface morphology of a specimen, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a widely used method of determining the chemical composition of a surface. In the research group of Laurent Marot at the Physics Department, this technique is also available for investigation.
At the NSL (Nanotech Service Lab), the thinnest optical layers of eye glasses were examined on structure and firmness to the substrate. Or, due to the ultra smooth polishing treatment of sapphire surfaces only fine scratches of less than 1 nm depth were created, and therefore, the atomic terraces of the sapphire surface were still observed in our AFM measurements. Also, the finest filter membranes of blood dialyser have been examined with AFM, or an in-situ observation of pellet dissolution has been performed in a liquid environment. With the variety of our technologies the surfaces of practically all materials can be analysed and modified in many respects.
As a part of the Technology Center of the Swiss Nanoscience Institut (SNI), founded in 2006, we see ourselves as the first drop-in centre if it is about questions and problem solutions related to technical surfaces. We take over contract research for industrial partners in the region and give technical assistance for new hightech projects with companies in and around Basel.