XRR is a non-contact, non-destructive x-ray characterization technique suitable for both amorphous and crystalline materials. It provides refined film thicknesses, densities, and interfacial roughness determinations for film stacks whose approximate chemistries and thicknesses are known.
Nanoindentation is a quasi-static mode of nanomechanical analysis used to measure hardness and reduced elastic modulus of solid samples. Hardness is determined by calculating the ratio of the maximum force to the area of the tip. Modulus is determined by fitting the unload-curve to a linear slope.
Nanomechanical scratch testing (nano-scratch) is an alternate nanomechanical testing mode to nano-indent or nano-wear box testing, which is used to measure force response and mechanical properties typically of thin films and coatings. In addition to standard penetration depth and indent characteristics, the nano-scratch test also calibrates and measures the amount of force required to keep the tip moving laterally across the sample surface.
Nano-wear box testing is a nanomechanical testing mode used to evaluate wear resistance and other mechanical properties at sub-micron scales. These encompass both linear and nonlinear processes associated with deformation and sample damage under sustained, iterated, or dynamic forces.
Ultraviolet-Visible-Near Infrared spectrophotometry (UV-Vis-NIR) is a non-destructive, non-contact optical characterization technique used to measure reflectance, absorbance, and transmittance of liquids and solids. It can be used to refine advanced optical modeling, or to make efficient, direct measurements of standard optical properties.
Zeta potential measures the strength of net charge on particle and solid surfaces. The higher the magnitude of this potential, the stronger the surface interactions (repulsion and/or attraction) will be when the sample contacts other charged materials.
Rheometry measures the flow and deformation of materials in response to applied stress and strain to evaluate their viscoelastic properties. It is used to evaluate the mechanical behavior of samples with both liquid- and solid-like characteristics.
UPS is often performed in conjunction with X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), a powerful surface chemical characterization technique. Unique to UPS, its selective low-energy signal photoelectrons enables specific measurement of valence-band properties, as well as the electronic work function of the surface.
Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is used to characterize sample volatility, as well as thermal stability and response. TGA instruments plot weight as a function of temperature and/or time, and analyzing these plots reveals several thermal properties of the material, including (but not limited to): thermal stability, heat resistance, volatility, and vaporization temperatures.
DSC is a thermal analysis technique used to characterize a variety of temperature-dependent physical and chemical changes in a material. DSC curves quantitatively reflect the temperature dependence of numerous thermal events and transitions, including: recrystallization, softening and phase changes.
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) is used to study changes in the mechanical properties of a material under periodic stress as the temperature is varied. DMA results are used to assess: glass transitions, melting points, elastic modulus, strain-to-break, toughness, creep, and numerous other thermal and mechanical properties.
Thermomechanical analysis (TMA) probes the response of the sample’s thermal, dynamic, and static-mechanical properties as temperature is changed over time. During a TMA measurement, a probe is set at rest on the surface of a sample, with no applied force. Then, heat is applied, causing temperature to rise, and inducing material property changes that deform the specimen. Hyper-fine measurements are taken of the probe’s vertical displacement, illuminating the sample’s morphological and mechanical response to temperature flux. During heating, one can also apply a controlled force across the probe (either dynamic/variable or unchanging/static), enabling different measurement modes that assess a wide assortment of mechanical properties as a function of temperature.