Available services

Structural Techniques

Scanning Electron Microscopy 

The FEI Quantafeg electron microscope, equipped with EDX (EDAX) and EBSD (TSL), allows the user to visualize the samples with a magnification of up to 1.000.000 times. Our microscope allows working at low-vacuum and ESEM mode, allowing non-conducting or biological samples to be examined. With EDX, the chemical composition of your sample can be determined. Also mappings can be carried out. Finally, EBSD is a microstructural-crystallographic technique used to elucidate the crystallographic texture or preferred orientation of any crystalline or polycrystalline sample. Grains with a range down to approx. 50 nm can be measured.

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A Hitachi S3400-N SEM with a number of extensions for chemical and structural analysis is also available. These features include EDX (energy dispersive x-ray analysis), CL (cathodoluminescence) and a cooling/heating stage.



X-Ray Diffraction

A Brüker D8 XRD device, equipped with an Euler-cradle is available at S1. X-Ray diffraction allows to characterize the crystallographic properties of your sample and measure the out-of-plane and in-plane (due to the Euler-cradle) orientation of the thin film. In X-Ray Reflective mode, the film thickness can be determined.

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X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy

XPS is a quantitative technique which measures the chemical state and the electronic state of the elements that exist in your sample. It is a surface chemical analysis technique that allows the user to determine the stoichiometry, composition and chemical state of your sample surface in "as-received" state, or from the bulk of the sample after ion-etching.


Optical techniques

Cathodoluminescence spectroscopy

A Hitachi S3400-N SEM with a number of extensions for chemical and structural analysis is available. These features include EDX (energy dispersive x-ray analysis), CL (cathodoluminescence) and a cooling/heating stage. Electrons can be accelerated up to 30 kV. Non-conductive samples can be imaged without coating under a gas atmosphere of up to 200Pa.

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Photoluminescence spectroscopy (UV-NIR)

Our photoluminescence setup consists of an Edinburgh FS920, enabling high resolution excitation and emission measurements. The combination of a Xe arc lamp and a double excitation monochromator allows selecting an excitation in the range from 250 to 900nm, with narrow band width and low stray light. At the emission side, two detectors are available for measurements between 300 and 1650nm. The setup can be extended with a cryostat, for measurements between 4 and 500K.

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Thermoluminescence spectroscopy

A homemade setup for thermoluminescence spectroscopy with low energy photon excitation is available.

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Time-resolved optical spectroscopy 

Intensified CCD for measuring integrated and time-resolved optical emission spectra (both electro- and photoluminescence). On periodic signals, a time resolution down to 2 ns can be obtained. It is coupled to a 0.5 m Ebert monochomator. For photoluminescence decay measurements, a tunable laser for 210-2600 nm, 10 Hz, 4 ns pulse length signals with an energy of approx. 10 mJ is available. The laser has direct outputs at 1064 nm, 532 nm and 355 nm.

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Transmission and reflection measurements

Two Perkin Elmer Lambda 1050 UV-Vis-NIR multifunctional spectrophotometers for both specular and diffuse transmission and reflection measurements. One of the instruments is dedicated to diffuse transmission and reflection measurements, using an integrating sphere or praying mantis. Using the latter attachment, measurements can be performed under a controller atmosphere and at elevated temperature. The other instrument is equipped with a TAMS (total absolute measurement system) and can be used for angle dependent transmission and reflection measurements under controlled polarization conditions, including measurement of BRDF (bidirectional reflection distribution function) and mapping of wafer surfaces. 



Thermographic camera

FLIR A35 non-contact temperature sensor for comprehensive visual temperature monitoring of scientific experiments.



Nb-Photonics Center of Expertise

The center of nano- and biophotonics offers a variety of photonics-related world-class infrastructure

Contact: nb-Photonics

Other available techniques 

AC susceptometry

AC susceptometry can be used to probe dynamic magnetic properties.
A DynoMag AC Susceptometer allows measuring the AC susceptibility of liquids, powders or solid samples with a volume of 200 µl. The frequency range is from 1 Hz up to 500 kHz with an excitation amplitude of 0.5 mT. 

Contact: Jonathan Leliaert and Bartel Van Waeyenberge


Deep-Level Transient Spectroscopy

DLTS allows to characterize electron or hole trapping by defect states with energy levels deeper than the shallow donor or acceptor that determine the type of the semiconductor. In classical DLTS experiments, the time dependence of the capacity of metal-insulator-semiconductor structure, Schottky or p-n diode is monitored after electrical pulses from depletion into accumulation or forward conditions. Slow transients (time constants 0.1 ms – s range) in the capacity occur when electrons or holes trapped in deep levels during the electric pulse, are released to the conduction or valence band when the device is brought back to depletion conditions. The detrapping or emission process is thermally activated, which provides information on the energy position of the deep level in the band gap. Defect carrier capture cross-section, the location (with respect to the junction) and concentration (profiles) can also be determined with DLTS. 

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Electron Nuclear DOuble Resonance

This double resonance method is ideally suited to study the structure and nearest environment of paramagnetic centers. Measurements can be performed at X- and Q-band.



Electron Paramagnetic Resonance

EPR observes electron spin transitions of paramagnetic defects in strong external magnetic fields and is very well suited to determine the symmetry and chemical composition of defects (which elements and/or intrinsic point defects are involved?).



Fourier-Transform InfraRed spectroscopy

FTIR spectroscopy probes the vibrational and low energy electronic transitions of defects in solids (see figure). Our FTIR spectrometer covers the whole infrared energy range, from ~2.5 meV (20 cm-1 far infrared) to ~1.5 eV (12000 cm-1, near infrared). Localized vibrational modes of defects give information on their chemical composition. Far infrared transitions provide insight in the electronic structure of defects with energy levels close to the semiconductor valence and conduction band edges. When measured in transmission mode, FTIR absorption spectra also allow to determine defect concentrations, but this detection mode is not very sensitive. The sensitivity can be increased by measuring the effect of infrared absorption on e.g. the resistance of a semiconductor (photoconductivity) or the photocurrent or capacity of a p-n junction of semiconductors, but determining defect concentrations from such measurements is not always obvious.

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Plasma characterization

Energy resolved mass spectrometry (Hiden), allows to measure the energy and mass distribution of neutrals, positive ions and negative ions in the plasma up to 1000 eV.

A Langmuir probe (Hiden) allows to measure the plasma properties, i.e. plasma potential, floating potential, electron density, ion density, electron temperature and the EEDF.