The Imaging and Analysis Center (IAC) implements high-end, state-of-the-art instrumentation for imaging and analysis to stimulate materials research and education at Princeton . The Center is open to all students and researchers from Princeton and elsewhere (for instrument charge rates, click here).

Major instruments include:*

Optical Microscopy
Optical Microscope w/CCD Camera
Zeiss Discovery V12 Stereomicroscope
The Leica Confocal DCM 3D Micro-optical System
AmScope Stereo Microscopes

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
FEI Quanta 200 FEG Environmental-SEM
FEI Verios 460 XHR SEM

Focused Ion Beam System (FIB)
FEI StrataTM DB 235 FIB (being replaced by the Helios)
FEI Helios G3 DualBeam FIB/SEM

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
Titan Themis 80-300 Cubed Double Cs-corrected S/TEM equipped with SuperX-EDS, Gatan Quantum SE/963 EELS Spectrum Imaging System, and Tomography Inspect3D Xpress
Talos F200X S/TEM equipped with SuperX-EDS
Titan Krios G2 300 TEM (to be installed in Spring 2017)

X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) and 3D X-Ray Microscope
Bruker D8 Advance XRD
Bruker D8 Discover X-Ray Diffractometer
Rigaku MiniFlex XRD/X-Ray Diffractometer
Zeiss Xradias Versa 520 3D X-ray microscope (to be installed in October 2016)

Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM)
Bruker MultiMode AFM
BrukerNanoMan AFM
Bruker Dimension ICON3 AFM

Surface Analysis
Horiba Raman Spectrometer
Woollam M-2000 Ellipsometer
Thermo K-alpha X-ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS)
UV-VIS Cary 5000 Spectrometer
FLS980 Steady State, Phosphorescence/Fluorescence Lifetime Spectrometer

Thermo Analysis and Rheometer
Differential Scanning Calorimeter 8500 (DSC)
Thermogravimetric Analyzer coupled to Clarus 680 SQ 8T Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (TGA-GC/MS)
Dynamic Mechanical Analysis 8000 (DMA)
Anton Paar MCR702 Rheometer
Keithley 4200-SCS Semiconductor Characterization System

Imaging and Analysis Sample Prep
Allied Multi-Prep Polisher
Cressington Carbon Coater
Diamond Knifes
Evactron Plasma Cleaner
FEI Vitrobot Unit
Fischione 1010 Dual-Beam Ion Mill
Fischione NanoClean Station
Glass Knife Maker
Isitemp Oven
Leica Sputter Coater
Leica Ultracut UCT Microtome
Low-speed Diamond Saw
Plasma Cleaner
Reichert-Jung Ultracut E Microtome
TEM sample cutter
Ultrasonic Cutter
VCR IBS/TM 200S Ion Beam Sputterer

* Details of some instruments will be posted soon.

Zeiss Discovery V12 Stereomicroscope

The Discovery V12 Stereomicroscope is a configurable, modular system featuring newly patented optics for improved resolution and contrast. The motorized zoom system provides resolution, magnification and object field data via a Human Interface Panel (HIP), which is illuminated for easy viewing. The HIP allows programmable entry of eyepiece and objective magnification, zoom speed, focus speed, position and displays resolution, field of view and magnification values. A 3-position turret can accommodate from 0.63X to 1.5X objectives for a zoom range of 30:1.The Microscope is also equipped with a 1K frames per second high speed camera as well as integrated software for CCD image grabbing. Images can be post processed with a wide range of image manipulating software.


FEI XL30 FEG-SEM equipped with an EVEX EDS. in-situ Tensile Stage, and Gatan MiniCL imaging system. This high-resolution field-emission SEM has an optimum image resolution of 2nm and is accessed completely using a computer terminal. The EDX system can provide X-ray acquisition to obtain high-resolution two-dimensional elemental distribution map throughout the sample surface.

FEI Verios 460 Extreme High Resolution
Scanning Electron Microscope (XHR SEM)
Verios 460 SEM
  • the Verios 460 is capable of sub-nanometer characterization of materials. Super high contrast and image quality can be preserved by integrated beam decelerator, which maintains primary beam coherency, but a low landing energy. Elstar Schottky monochromated (UC) field emission gun (FEG) column provides sub-nanometer resolution (0.6 - 0.7nm) performance from 1 to 30 kV
  • integrated beam deceleration allowing beam landing energies as low as 20 eV piezo-enabled 100x100 mm 5-axis motorized eucentric stage
  • advanced detectors including Everhart-Thornley SED, in-column & below-the-lens detectors, FEI SmartScan and Oxford energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) system for elemental mapping and analysis
FEI Helios NanoLab G3 UC DualBeam (FIB/SEM)
Helios FIB

The FIB/SEM dual-beam system provides the unique capability to add or subtract material at precisely defined locations with high spatial resolution. Its integrated nano-manipulator allows preparation of TEM lamellas. 3D reconstructions is enabled through a "slice and view" before computationally recombining into a single 3D volume.

  • an XHR SEM monochromated (UC) field emission electron gun (FEG), constant power lens optics and beam decelerator identical to the Verios for its SEM component
  • Its Tomahawk ion column features superior high current performance (65 nA max beam current) accelerating voltage from 500 - 30 kV, 2-stage differential pumping and time-of-flight correction for a tighter beam and more accurate scan profile
  • Available gas injections are: platinum deposition, carbon deposition, selective carbon mill, and insulator enhanced etch
  • Oxford energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) for elemental mapping and analysis
  • FEI EasyLift EX NanoManipulator for easy TEM lamella creation and lift-out


This is a 100KeV electron microscope equipped with a digitally controlled eucentric 4-axis motorized side entry stage, which provides a maximum tilting angle of 60 degrees.

FEI Talos F200X Scanning/Transmission
Electron Microscope (S/TEM)
Talos F200X

Room temperature S/TEM imaging and analysis including differential phase contrast (DPC), bright field, dark field and high-angle annular dark field imaging, electron diffraction, highly sensitive 4-detector Super-X EDS for quantitative elemental analysis and mapping.

  • X-FEG high brightness electron source (1.8x109 A/cm2srad @200 kV) with 0.12 nm (TEM), 0.16 nm (STEM) information limit
  • flexible high tension range from 60 to 200 kV
  • constant power A-TWIN objective lens for thermal stability and easy mode switching
  • industry-leading high-speed, high-throughput, windowless 4-detector, Super-X energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) signal detection
  • differential phase contrast (DPC) imaging for electromagnetic studies
  • automatic apertures and reproducible recall
  • rotation-free imaging for clear orientation
  • constant power A-TWIN objective lens for thermal stability and easy mode switching
Bruker D8 Discover X-Ray Diffractometer

This XRD is a state-of-the-art, high-quality system that is easy to use, highly accurate, and versatile to meet our needs in X-ray diffraction. This system equips with the optimum components (X-ray 4-Bounce monochromator, high-precision, two-circle goniometer, LynxEye detector and standard software package) to provide a comprehensive solution for X-ray reflectometry, High resolution X-ray diffraction, Grazing incidence diffraction and texture measurements, as well as ?m-XRD. One of the unique advantages of this system is its extreme versatility. The system can be easily reconfigured for the usage of multiple research groups for different applications. The combination of various measurement methods in this single instrument allows us to use it during all phases of complex materials development. We have also added special attachments to meet our research needs. These features include:

  • A new LynxEye detector that operates both in a 1-Dimensional Mode (for polymers and powders) and also in a 0 Dimensional Mode (for thin film and grazing incidence analysis, reciprocal space mapping) provides high resolution detection for nearly all applications
  • A Laser-Video Scope for accurate alignment and positioning of any type of samples
  • A DCS 350 temperature stage (-100°C to 350°C)
  • A MRI Hot Humidity Stage (25°C - 90°C, up to 90% relative humidity)
  • A full TOPAS and MULTEX software package for powder pattern fitting, pattern decomposition, quantitative structure refinement, ab-initio structure determination, and pole figure measurement, etc.

Zeiss Xradia 520 Versa High-resolution 3D X-ray tomography Microscope
Xradia 520

The Zeiss Xradia 520 Versa is a non-destructive submicron 3D X-ray microscope. Its industry-leading resolution and contrast achieves spatial resolution of 0.7 μm and minimal achievable voxel of 70 nm. This system bridges the resolution gap between light and electron microscopes enabling easy, non-destructive 3D reconstructions of samples. It is equipped with:

  • Dual Scan Contrast Visualizer (DSCoVer), enabling compositional probing through overlay of imaging data of a single sample at two different X-ray spectra
  • High-Aspect Ratio Tomography (HART) for higher throughput imaging for flat samples like semiconductor packages and boards
  • Automated filter changer (AFC) for easy X-ray spectrum tuning
  • Wide field mode & vertical stitching for extended imaging of larger samples
  • Flat panel extension (FPX) to image significantly larger samples (beyond 5" diameter)
  • CT50000-TEC in-situ interface kit for heating, cooling, tension and compression stage
Bruker NanoMan AFM

The NanoMan AFM incorporates the Dimension platform, the advanced NanoScope V controller and the Hybrid XYZ scanner to create the preeminent system for high-resolution imaging, high-definition nanolithography, and direct nanoscale manipulation. The NanoMan is also able to perform highly accurate force curves, nanoindenting and pulling techniques. This state-of-the-art AFM operates in closed-loop mode, enabling a single instrument solution for nanolithography, nanomanipulation, and imaging for material and life science applications.

Horiba Raman Spectrometer

Raman spectroscopy is a light scattering technique, and can be thought of in its simplest form as a process where a photon of light interacts with a sample to produce scattered radiation of different wavelengths. It has become an important analytical and research tool. It can be used for applications as wide ranging as pharmaceuticals, forensic science, polymers, thin films, semiconductors and even for the analysis of fullerene structures and carbon nano-materials.

ThermoFisher K-Alpha X-ray
Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS)
KAlpha XPS

The ThermoFisher K-Alpha X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS) provides quantitative elemental, chemical state and functional group information from the surface of materials (top ~1-10nm). With a built-in ion beam the sample surface can be gently mill away for depth-profile analysis. This system is equipped with:

  • a 180° double focusing hemispherical analyzer with 128-channel detector
  • Al Kα micro-focused monochromator with variable X-ray spot size (30-400μm in 5μm steps)
  • Ar+ beam energy range of 30-4000 eV
  • 4-axis sample stage
  • vacuum transfer module

PerkinElmer DMA-8000
Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA)

The DMA-8000 is a temperature-controlled dynamic mechanical analyzer. It features a 180° rotating analysis head enabling configuration for any test type and sample geometry. It couples a LN2 dewar with a standard furnace for temperature control between -190°C to 400°C. The system is capable of dynamic oscillations ranging from 0 to 600 Hz. And in addition to operation in dynamic mode, also features "Constant force (TMA) mode" vs. time or temperature.

Combined, this system is capable of determining a material's dynamic modulus (storage, tan(δ)), stress/strain, viscoelastic properties, and even expansion coefficient (softening/penetration).

Anton Paar MCR702 Rheometer

The Anton Paar MCR 702 is a two motors rheometer capable to operate both in strain and stress controlled mode. It is equipped with the classical measuring geometries spanning smooth and rough surfaces, parallel-plates, cone-plate, large and small diameters. Mechanical and flow properties such as elastic modulus, viscous modulus, viscosity and normal stresses as a function of stress or strain, of a broad class of materials ranging from water-like fluids, polymers to cement pastes can be measured. The instrument is also capable of Rheo-Optical measurements by a microscope coupled with the rheometer thus allowing rheology with optical characterization of microstructure.

Allied Multi Prep Polisher

The MultiPrep™ System enables precise semi-automatic sample preparation of a wide range of materials for microscopic (optical, SEM, TEM, AFM, etc.) evaluation. Capabilities include parallel polishing, precise angle polishing, site-specific polishing or any combination thereof. It provides reproducible sample results by eliminating inconsistencies between users, regardless of their skill. The MultiPrep eliminates the need for hand-held polishing jigs, and ensures that only the sample makes contact with the abrasive. It maintains geometric orientation of the sample relative to the abrasive plane during polishing, allowing quantification of material removal; rate of polish can be monitored, and total amount removed can be preset.

Leica DCM 3D Micro-optical System
Leica Confocal DCM 3D

The Leica DCM 3D is a dual head confocal and interferometry 3D light microscope. It provides standard bright field microscope imaging, confocal imaging, confocal profiling, PSI, VSI and high resolution thin film roughness measurement on a single instrument. The system has white light and blue LED (λ=460nm) illumination and collects data with either a black/white high resolution CCD camera or a color camera. Its mounted objective lens kit includes: 5X, 10X, 20X, 50X, 150X magnifications and interferometry. LeicaSCAN software controls image acquisition enabling a maximum resolution of 140nm in the x-y plane and an interpolated 1nm resolution on the z axis. Since confocal imaging samples one focal plane (z-axis) at a time, image stacks can easily generate 3D topography maps. Post-acquisition data analysis utilizes Mountains technology Leica Map software.

FEI Quanta 200 FEG
Environmental-SEM Quanta-ESEM

The Quanta 200 FEG ESEM is a special type of high performance scanning electron microscope (SEM). It is equipped with a Schottky field emission gun (FEG) for optimal spatial resolution. The instrument can be used in high vacuum mode (HV), low-vacuum mode (LV) and the so called ESEM (Environmental SEM) mode. This makes it possible to study samples in pressures up to 30 Torr. The microscope is equipped with a peltier stage for studies of wet samples in-situ. There are cooling and heating stages available for in-situ experiments at temperatures ranging from -20°C up to 1500°C. This can be done in combination with having an external gas present in the chamber, e.g. air, for studying chemical reactions, such as oxidation, at high temperatures.

FEI StrataTM DB 235 FIB

The Strata DB-235 dual-beam focused ion beam and scanning electron microscope (FIB/SEM) system. The FIB/SEM provides the unique capability in the IAC to either add or subtract material between precisely defined locations with high spatial resolution. The system is equipped with a Zyvex F100 Nanomanipulator system for in situ manipulation and testing of micro- and nanoscale samples. The F100 was recently acquired by PRISM through a special partnership with Zyvex.

Philips CM200 FEG-TEM

Philips CM200 FEG-TEM equipped with a Gatan 678 Imaging Filter and a PGT-IMIX EDX system. With a field-emission-gun, this microscope provides a point-to-point resolution of 0.2nm, and an electron probe of 0.7nm with an energy up to 200KeV.

FEI Titan Cubed Themis 300 double Cs-corrected Scanning/Transmission Electron Microscope (S/TEM)
Titan Themis

The premiere aberration-corrected S/TEM for atomic-resolution characterization, including differential phase contrast (DPC), bright field, dark field and high-angle annular dark field imaging, electron diffraction, and quantitative elemental analysis/mapping, and EELS acquisition.

  • a Schottky X-FEG high brightness electron source with 0.08 nm (TEM), 0.07 nm (STEM) information limit
  • double Cs-corrector DCOR (Cs image + DCOR probe corrector)
  • flexible high tension range from 60 to 300 kV
  • symmetric Ruska-Rieke constant power S-TWIN objective lens for thermal stability and easy mode switching
  • industry-leading high-speed, high-throughput, windowless 4-detector, Super-X energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) signal detection
  • a Gatan Quantum SE/963 P post-column energy filter equipped with a 2k x 2k CCD for energy filtered TEM (EFTEM) and UltraFast (up to 1000sp/s) electron energy-loss spectra (EELS) data acquisition
  • differential phase contrast (DPC) imaging for electromagnetic studies
  • automatic apertures and reproducible recall
  • rotation-free imaging for clear orientation
  • computerized 5-axis specimen stage with piezo-enabled drift compensation

FEI TitanKrios G2 cryo Transmission
Electron Microscope (cryo-TEM)
Titan Krios

The Titan Krios G2 cryo transmission electron microscope (cryo-TEM) is the most powerful high resolution electron microscope specializing in cryo-based 3D characterization of biological samples. It is equipped with:

  • a Schottky X-FEG high brightness electron source
  • Cs image corrector for compensation of spherical aberration (Cs) and semi-automated correction of astigmatism [0.08 nm (TEM) information limit]
  • flexible high tension range from 60 to 300 kV
  • symmetric constant power C-TWIN objective lens with wide pole piece gap of 11 mm
  • cryo autoloader for robotic loading of up to 12 frozen, hydrated samples
  • Volta phase plate solution for tunable phase shifting to optimize contrast
  • low dose software kit to minimize electron dosage
  • semi-automated data collection for continuous multi-day data acquisition
  • Falcon 3EC pre-GIF direct electron detector camera
  • Gatan BioQuantum LS / 967 energy filter coupled to a Gatan K2 Summit direct electron detector camera
  • automatic apertures and reproducible recall
  • rotation-free imaging for clear orientation
  • a computerized 5-axis specimen stage with piezo-enabled drift compensation

Rigaku MiniFlex XRD

Rigaku MiniFlex XRD/X-ray diffractometer equipped with two types of holders for powder and bulk) to have up to 6 samples which can be mounted and measured with the automatic sample changer. Each sample can be made to spin to enhance data precision for the qualitative and quantitative analyses. It works with JADETM 3.1 processing and search/match software.

Bruker Multimode AFM

DI Nanoscope IIIa Atomic Force Microscope equipped with a heating stage, fluid cell, and magnetic probe. This kind of microscope performs "imaging by touch" to image surface topography either by contact mode or "tapping" mode, either in ambient atmosphere or in a liquid environment.

Bruker Dimension ICON3
Atomic Force Microscope

The Icon3® atomic force microscope (AFM) introduces new levels of performance, functionality, and AFM accessibility to nanoscale researchers in science and industry; high performance, multifunctional, scanning probe microscope (SPM) optimized for peak force characterization.

  • housed within an integrated acoustic and vibration isolation enclosure to ensure optimal data collection
  • motorized stage with a typical X-Y scan range of 90μm x 90μm
  • various advanced operation modes including: PeakForce Tapping/contacting, Force spectroscopy, Surface potential, Piezoresponse microscopy, Tunneling AFM, etc.
Woollam M-2000 Ellipsometer
Woollam M-2000 Ellipsometer

The M-2000® spectroscopic ellipsometer is engineered to meet the diverse demands of thin film characterization. An advanced optical design, wide spectral range, and fast data acquisition combine in an extremely powerful and versatile tool.

PerkinElmer DSC-8500 Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)

The DSC-8500 is a double-furnace automated multi-sample high performance differential scanning calorimeter. It features a second generation high speed DSC (HyperDSC) and is capable of: extremely fast scanning rates to 750°C/min, in-situ ballistic cooling 2100°C/min, with fast data readout rates (100 points/second) providing high data integrity. This allows for quick and accurate thermal characterization of heat capacity and phase transitions.

PerkinElmer TGA-GC/MS: TGA-8000
Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA),
Clarus 680 Gas Chromatography (GC),
Clarus SQ 8 T Mass Spectrometry (MS) hyphenated system

Three instruments combined into one flexible workflow, the TGA-GC/MS enables use of one or more instruments in thermal characterization. TGA can be used alone to analyze the mass loss or gain due to temperature-driven decomposition, oxidation or loss of volatiles. Through a high accuracy measurement of mass change, temperature and temperature change, both physical and chemical phenomena can be observed. This allows for analysis of second-order phase transitions such as vaporization, sublimation, absorption, adsorption, desorption along with chemisorptions, desolvation/dehydration, decomposition and solid-gas reactions.

When coupled with mass spectrometry via TGA-MS, the TGA-evolved gas product can be fed into the MS for identification. For full use of the hyphenated system, TGA-GC/MS, TGA-evolved gas product can be fed into a gas chromatograph (GC) for further separation before then passing the GC product into the MS for identification/analysis.

Fischione 1010 Ion Mill

The Model 1010 Ion Mill is a tabletop, PC-controlled precision milling and polishing system for creating high-quality TEM specimens with large electron transparent areas. It is fully programmable and easy to use. The Model 1010 incorporates two independently adjustable, variable energy hollow anode discharge (HAD) ion sources, liquid nitrogen specimen cooling, 0° to 45° milling angles, automatic gas control, and an oil-free vacuum system for ultra-clean specimen processing.

Computer Cluster

Center's computer cluster provides various computer simulation capabilities: 4 DELL Optiplex 780 PCs running Windows 7 64-bit with INTEL E8400 Dual Core processing, 8GB DDR3 Mem. Epson V700 High-resolution image scanner.

Leica Ultracut UCT Ultramicrotome

The Leica Ultracut UCT ultramicrotome with a cryo-attachment is designed to meet the precise requirements of sample preparation for electron microscopy. It is ideal for biological applications and soft materials preparation. It features automatic feed in 1nm increments from 1 to 100 nm. The variable cutting speed can be finitely controlled to 0.05 mm per second. All key functions of the microtome, even the motorized approach of knife to specimen, can be operated from the separate control unit.