Microstructure Analysis

The Microstructure Analysis group performs local structure, defect and chemical analyses using electron-optical, tactile and X-ray-based methods. It develops and implements solutions for a wide range of analytical problems across groups and topics. A number of solid-state analytical and accompanying preparative technologies are available for this purpose, which are supervised and continuously further developed by employees with many years of experience. This includes in particular the development of individual measurement strategies and methods.


  • Particle, topography and microstructure characterization using ultra-high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM/STEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM/RKM) down to the sub-nm range
  • Qualitative and full-quantitative element characterization by means of energy and wavelength dispersive X-ray microanalysis (ED-/WD-ESMA) with high detection capability down to the ppm range
  • Structure and thin film characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD/XRR)
  • Ion fine beam techniques (FIB) for the structuring of surfaces and cross-sectional investigations
  • Characterization of surfaces, thin layers and layer systems using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) with high depth resolution and element detection capability in the ppm range

Using the above mentioned methods, structural, topographic and chemical data are generated during the technological process, which iteratively contribute to the further development of the various scientific activities at the IPHT. In addition, the group continuously conducts its own method-specific research, such as the investigation of characteristic X-ray spectra or the development of fundamental parameters for X-ray microanalysis.

Areas of application

Analytical and structural elucidation of solid state samples and systems in the micro- and nanometer range across departments and topics. This ranges from biophotonic and plasmonical tasks, materials for optics and fiber optics to the characterization of layers and layer systems for radiation sensors. In addition, the group works on analytical tasks for numerous external partners from research and industry.

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