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Center for Nanoscale Materials

Quantum and Energy Materials Capabilities

The Quantum and Energy Materials group seeks to take control of materials at the atomic and molecular scale to better understand and utilize their behavior and properties.


  • Colloidal chemistry and self-assembly techniques.
  • Physical vapor deposition (Lesker CMS 18 and PVD 250).


  • Would you like Theory with that? Joint experimental-theory proposals are possible and encouraged; visit the Theory & Modeling group’s webpage for more information about their capabilities. 


  • Variable-temperature (VT) scanning tunneling microscope with atomic force microscopy capabilities (Omicron VT-AFM/STM). It operates in an ultrahigh vacuum environment with a base pressure of < 1E-10 mbar and temperature range of 55-400 K. Atomic resolution is routinely obtained at room temperature and below. The AFM capabilities support a range of scanning modes. The analysis chamber also houses a LEED/Auger with an attached preparation chamber for sample cleaning and deposition (e.g., sputter cleaning, direct current heating, e-beam heating stage, and metal deposition).
  • Low-temperature ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscope (4 K base with temperature variability) with 6 T external magnetic field applied normal to the sample surface. Intended for VT high-impact research requiring an external magnetic field (Omicron Cryo SFM).
  • Low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope (LT-STM, Createc).
  • Scanning probe microscope Veeco Multi Mode 8 [contact or tapping mode, fluid imaging, low-current scanning tunneling microscopy, magnetic force microscopy, variable temperature imaging (-30-250°C), and peak force tapping mode and peak force quantitative nanomechanical mapping].
  • Laser scanning interferometric microscope.
  • Luminescence spectrometer (Perkin-Elmer LS55).
  • Magnetic and physical properties characterization suite (Keithley 4200-SCS/F Semiconductor Parameter Analyzer, Quantum Design PPMS-9 and MPMSXL).
  • Optical microscope (Zeiss Axio Imager Z1 M Upright).
  • Rheometer (Anton Paar Physica MCR 301). This can be accessed alone or as part of the joint CNM/APS rheometry small-angle X-ray scattering X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy system (Rheo-SAXS-XPCS) housed at Sector 8-ID-I of the APS.
  • Thermal analysis [differential scanning calorimetry (Mettler Toledo 823) and thermogravimetric analysis (Mettler Toledo 851)].
  • Ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared spectrometer (Perkin-Elmer Lamda 950).
  • X-ray diffractometer (Bruker D8 Discover, point detector, VÅNTEC-1 linear detector; Bragg-Brentano powder, grazing incidence, high-resolution four-circle, reciprocal space mapping, reflectivity, and rocking curves).
  • X-ray diffractometer (Bruker D8 Discover, IµS tube, Eiger2 R 500K area detector; high-resolution four-circle, SAXS, GI-SAXS, grazing incidence, 2D powder, reciprocal space mapping, reflectivity, and rocking curves).
  • X-ray diffractometer (Bruker D2 Phaser, LYNXEYE detector, 2-theta/theta).

Synchrotron X-ray Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (SX-STM)

Synchrotron X-ray scanning tunneling microscopy (SX-STM) is a new imaging technique that uniquely combines the best of two worlds: the exceptional chemical, magnetic, and structural sensitivity of X-rays combined with the unparalleled ability of scanning probe microscopy to resolve and manipulate surfaces down to single atoms. In collaboration with the APS X-ray Science division we have developed XTIP, the world’s first dedicated synchrotron beamline for SX-STM, located at Sector 4 of the APS. Experiments there focus on the study of chemical and magnetic properties of nanoscale materials using SX-STM at photon energies between 500 and 2500 eV.