A variety of analytical and spectroscopic instruments are housed within MC².

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

A Perkin Elmer Frontier FTIR spectrometer is equipped with the following: diamond ATR head, DRIFT attachment for powders, gas cell, transmission cell and an improved resolution MCT detector. It is a bench top instrument used to analyse samples such as hydrocarbons, oils and pharmaceuticals. It can also be used for the determination of surface functional groups.

Raman Spectroscopy

Raman spectroscopy is carried out on an inVia confocal Raman microscope with a full spectrum of laser sources:

  • Red (785 nm) 140 mW,
  • Green (532 nm) 69 mW,
  • UV (325 nm) 6.5 mW.

The chemical composition and the molecular structure of a sample may be determined, or stress measurements and phase imaging performed. This is a high throughput, non-destructive technique, and although lower in imaging resolution than an electron microscope, offers a more dynamic method for investigating chemical properties of materials ranging from biological cells to semiconductor devices.

Scanning Probe Microscopy

Our Digital Instruments Nanoscope IIIA microscope is used for the study of thin films, the characterization of membranes, and protein studies. It is a multi-functional instrument that will perform specimen imaging and analysis by a number of different methods, including:

  • Atomic Force Microscopy
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy
  • Lateral Force Microscopy
  • Force Spectroscopy
  • Fluid Cell AFM

Gas sorption

We are equipped with an Autosorb-iQ-C by Quantachrome Anton Paar, connected to various gases including nitrogen, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. It is used for determining the surface area, the pore size distribution and the surface activity of solids, in both physisorption and chemisorption modes:

  • In physisorption mode, an adsorption isotherm is measured: it represents the number of molecules that are adsorbed on a solid with respect to the system's pressure. The type and range of porosity can be directly read from the shape of the adsorption isotherm.
  • Chemisorption is mainly used to quantify the amount of surface-active sites, which are available to catalyse chemical reactions. With temperature programmed methods in reduction, oxidation or desorption modes, the reduction readiness, etc. can be determined and activation energies can be calculated.

Contact Dr Rémi Castaing for training and any enquiries.

Application notes

Visit our surface area and porosity library if you are interested in pore size distributions and BET surface area.