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  Surface and Interface Analysis Platform

This platform has tools for detailed characterization of interfaces and thin films, including their morphology, chemical properties, and defect structure at various length scales (lateral resolutions of nanometers to microns). The instruments below have the ability to tailor surface properties through the rational synthesis of materials and thin film fabrication and processing.

Imaging Ellipsometer

Nanofilm EP4, Accurion

The performance of the thin solid film components of energy storage/conversion and electronic devices depends on their structural uniformity. The effective characterization of these films requires spatially resolved measurements of the layer thickness and optical constants. This metrology tool combines auto-nulling ellipsometry and microscopy suitable for surface characterization with a lateral resolution of up to 1 µm and thickness resolution of ca. 0.1 nm. The ultra-objective, a game changer in the field of ellipsometry, provides an overall focused real-time image. The imaging ellipsometer accommodates liquid/electrochemical cells for monitoring the effects of redox reactions.


X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS) with Ion Scattering Spectroscopy (ISS) and Reflected electron energy loss spectroscopy (REELS) and Imaging capacity

ESCALAB Xi+, Thermo Scientific

Situated at École Polytechnique, this XPS has the state of-the-art features, as well as additional accessories that make this system very unique. The ISS gives the opportunity to probe the top-most atomic layer and REELS permits the simultaneous determination of the band gaps of the studied materials. 

The imaging and depth profiling capabilities can be used to understand the mechanisms of surface chemical reactions. The MAGCIS dual-beam ion source is used to obtain both monatomic and gas cluster ion beams, permitting both sputter cleaning and depth profiling of inorganic and organic materials. The MAGCIS option is of great importance for the in-depth study of solar cells, composed of organic and inorganic layers, where ion cluster sputtering is necessary for the organic layers while monatomic ion sputtering is necessary for the inorganic ones.

All inquiries about this instrument should be addressed to Prof. Dominic Rochefort or Prof. Mickaël Dollé.


Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for Air- and Water-Sensitives Materials

Dimension Icon AFM with temperature heater/cooler, Bruker

The Dimension Icon AFM is a very effective atomic force microscope. Equipped with the Scan Asyst optimization, this instrument offers a drastic improvement in lateral resolution. With the increased control of the interaction forces between the tip and the surface combined with an automatic optimization of the optimization parameters, this improves productivity as well as reproducibility. Installed in a glove box, this Icon AFM is dedicated to electrochemical AFM imaging of air- and water-sensitive materials. There is also the possibility  for heating/cooling capabilities. 


This AFM is hosted in the Laboratoire de caractérisation des matériaux (LCM) of Université de Montréal. All inquiries should  be addressed to Patricia Moraille.


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Atomic Force Microscope for High Resolution Nanoscale Infrared Spectroscopy

NanoIR, Bruker (Anasys Instruments)

The NanoIR spectrometer uses an AFM probe to carry out IR measurements on surfaces with ca. 60 nm lateral resolution. It is possible to use this instrument to obtain information (chemical composition, orientation) from samples that are at least 100 nm thick, which is suitable for polymer films and large fibers. To provide signals on a smaller scale like on nanoscale electroactive materials, this NanoIR uses a Quantum Cascade Laser to achieve monolayer sensitivity and obtain IR spectra from samples/domains of about 25 nm in size.

The NanoIR is hosted in the Laboratoire de caractérisation des matériaux (LCM) of Université de Montréal. All inquiries should  be addressed to Patricia Moraille.


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