NanoTools Facility

The NanoTools facility comprises sophisticated characterization instrumentation, and it serves the research and teaching needs of faculty, researchers, and students in the physical and biological sciences at Brown University.  It is also available for use by outside academic and industry users.  The current state-of-the-art NanoTools instrumentation consists of:





Bruker D8 Discovery 2D X-ray Diffractometer

This Bruker D8 Discover X-ray Diffraction System can be configured with a point and line source x-rays. A Vantec 500 2D area detector or a LinxEye (0D, 1D)detector can be used for the analysis. The system is suitable for texture, stress, and micro-x-ray diffraction as well as for orientation and epitaxy studies. The instrument has in-situ capabilities for studies at low/high temperature and under vacuum to study properties as a function of time, temperature, gas environment or vacuum. A capillary spinner stage is also available for investigations of air sensible materials with the sample prepared in a capillary glass.

Bruker D8 Discovery High resolution X-ray Diffractometer

This Bruker D8 Discover X-ray Diffraction System includes a line source configuration system with a LinxEye (0D, 1D) detector and a Scintillator detector. The system is suitable to determine thickness, crystallographic structure and strain in epitaxially thin films as well as high resolution analysis of bulk materials. X-ray reflectometry (XRR), high resolution XRD, grazing incidence diffraction (GI-XRD), in-plane GID (IGID) and reciprocal space mapping (RSM) are some techniques that can be performed with this configuration. High resolution is obtained using parallel beam optics: Goebel mirror, monochromators, soller slits and analyzer crystals. 

Asylum MFP-3D Origin Atomic Force Microscopy 

The Asylum MFP-3D Origin atomic force microscope (AFM) is a multi-mode instrument. It is equipped with a closed loop operation in all three axes with high precision, resolution and low noise operation.  The closed loop Z scanner eliminates hysteresis. The AFM provides a 90 µm X and Y range (< 0.5nm noise) and 15 µm Z range (Z sensor, 0.25 nm noise) and detector noise <15 pm.  It also includes Inverted optical lever design that eliminates interference artifacts and a low-coherence infrared (860 nm) super-luminescent diode (SLD) light source (class 1M).  Applications include dual AC resonance tracking (DART), electric force microscopy (EFM), force mapping mode, lateral force microscopy (LFM), magnetic force microscopy (MFM), kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM), piezo-response force microscopy (PFM), and conductive AFM (C-AFM) with ORCA. 

Witec Alpha 300  Confocal Raman Microscope.

The Witec Alpha 300 Confocal Raman Microscope is equipt with different scan modes for local Raman spectra, mapping distribution of phases within a sample and with 3D image generation and depth profile of samples. The depth profiling and 3D imaging capabilities of the Alpha 300 provide the ability to analyze the interior of transparent samples without microtome sectioning or freeze etching. Multi-wavelength coupler for selection of 532 nm or 633 nm wavelength laser sources and a Ray Shield coupler for measurements of Raman spectra at low wave numbers.  Fast Raman imaging with integration time in the milliseconds order per spectrum. A heating stage for in-situ measurements in the temperature range 25°C to 1400°C with a thermal stability of ± 0.3°C. 

Bruker EMX Premium-X  Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectrometer

The  Bruker EMX Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) Spectrometer is equipt for the Technique for the direct detection of paramagnetic species. The EMX EPR has a digital resolution of 24 bit center field, a field sweep up to 256,000 points, high-sensitivity resonator with irradiation window, dual channel, simultaneous detection of 1st and 2nd harmonic, and sensitivity S/N up to 2000:1. The system has a helium temperature control system for low temperature measurements in the temperature range 3.8 K (~-269 °C) to 300 K (~27°C). Applications span a wide range of areas an include kinetics of radical reactions, oxidation and reduction process, polymerization reactions, degradation of compounds by light, organometallic compounds and catalysis, free radicals, and antioxidants and radical scavengers.

Park Scientific XE-Bio Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and Acanning Ion Conductance Microscopy (SICM)  

The Park System XE-Bio combines atomic force microscopy (AFM) with Scanning Ion Conductive Microscopy (SICM) and an inverted optical microscope (IOM). The design allow operators to easily switch between AFM and SICM capabilities. It is ideal tool to study biological samples under simulated fluid conditions with the capability of imaging cells alive in liquid with minimum damage to the cell tissues. The AFM has a high speed head with flexure-guide structure drive by piezoelectric stacks, physical separation of Z-scanner from X,Y-scanner, fast response of Z-scanner with 25 um range, and a 830 nm wavelength super luminesce diode (SLD) with low optical interference. Some applications include AFM standard imaging: true non-contact AFM, contact AFM, dynamic force microscopy (DFM), lateral force microscopy (LFM), and phase imaging. And SICM standard imaging: DC and AC modes, approach-retract scanning (ARS) mode, and I/D spectroscopy.

For further information contact:

Hector Garces
Research Associate & Research Facility Manager
Nanotools Facility
Box D, Brown University
Cell: (860) 933-8754
NanoTools Facility: (401) 863-5942
XRD Room: (401) 863-9361

Administrative Contact:

Sue C. Prendergast
Assistant Director, IMNI
P: (401) 863-2184
F: (401) 863-1387