Morphology Analysis

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Morphology Analysis

Morphology analysis includes qualitative and quantitative analysis of a sample, which is crucial for many research studies. With the development of micro/nanofabrication techniques, micro- and nanostructures provides a unique way of controlling biomolecule-surface interactions. It has been shown that surface feature and roughness strongly affect protein adsorption on designated biomaterials surfaces. The fiber alignment, micropatterning, and controlled porosity of nanofibrous mats have all been found to have significant effect on cellular behavior, inducing cell attachment, migration and differentiation. Surface chemistry and structure also play a major role in modulating cellular behavior and therefore impact on the development of high-performance devices for biomedical applications, such as scaffolds for tissue engineering and systems for drug delivery. In micro/nano fabrication industry, surface imaging is an important tool to check the feature shape, size and local or distributed material defects. For thin film samples, the cross section imaging can provide the thickness information as well. At Matexcel, our laboratory frequently use below instruments for your surface analysis requests:

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
SEM is one of the most versatile and powerful techniques in modern materials science, microanalysis, and investigative applications. SEM analysis provides detailed, high resolution imaging, and elemental mapping capabilities at a very wide range of magnifications on a diverse and large group of sample types. With an energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer (EDS) coupled to a SEM, we can also easily obtain elemental composition.

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
TEM has been widely used for materials characterization. A high energy beam of electrons is shone through an extremely thin sample, and the interactions between electrons and atoms can be used to observe features such as the crystal structure, dislocations and grain boundaries. TEM can be used to study the growth of layers, their composition and defects in semiconductors. High resolution TEM (HRTEM) can be used to analyze the quality, shape, size and density of quantum wells, wires and dots.

Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
AFM is another powerful tool in materials science. It is a derivative of Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM), which consists of a family of microscopy forms which use a sharp probe to “feel” surface and interactions between sample and the probe are monitored. In AFM a laser light is pointed off the back of a cantilever where a sharp tip is located. The cantilever reflects the laser into a photodiode, which detects any cantilever deflection cause by tip sample interactions.

Other instruments are also available for surface morphology analysis:
Optical microscope, Focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM), S/TEM tomography, Cryo-EM, Ellipsometry, Grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GI-SAXS), Confocal microscopy.

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