Microscopy facility - Nanotechnology Research Centre

National Research Council Canada, Edmonton, Alberta
What the facility does

Developmental and analytical microscopy in nanotechnology

Areas of expertise

The National Research Council's Nanotechnology Research Centre microscopy facility is equipped with a comprehensive range of instrumentation, including transmission electron microscopes (TEMs), scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), scanning tunneling microscopes (STMs), focused ion beam microscopes (FIBs), atomic force microscopes (AFMs) and field ion microscopes (FIMs). The microscopy facility is driven by experienced full-time staff dedicated to building, modifying and operating instruments for material analysis.

As a long-term, government-funded research centre with a core team who has been working together for over 16 years, the facility is uniquely positioned to advance each project until the desired outcome is reached.

Research services

Development of material analysis, electron and ion sources, nanoscale characterization instrument and method development.

Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Automotive
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Defence and security industries
  • Energy
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
Helium closed-cycle cryostat field ion microscope (built in-house)Allows for the observation and manipulation of atoms at the apex of a sharp probe. Uses various imaging gases (helium, neon, nitrogen). The probe can be heated to 2,000 °C and cooled between room temperature and 12 K for imaging. Up to 50kV can be utilized for imaging and tip shaping.
Hitachi H-9500 ETEM (Environmental TEM)300 kV instrument aimed at the practical application and examination of exposure to gases and liquids on samples. Equipped with an electron energy loss spectrometer for energy filtering imaging and chemical analysis.
Hitachi HF-3300 (300 kV TEM)300 kV TEM and scanning TEM (STEM) equipped with a cold field emission gun, 3 electron biprisms and an electron energy loss spectrometer
Hitachi HT7700 (120 kV TEM)Equipped with LaB6 or W source and supplemented by an in-house developed automation software. We collect a wide variety of data sets and perform automated sample heating sequences with data collection at determined states of the experiment.
Hitachi NB5000 (Dual column FIB-SEM)Dual beam instrument (focused ion beam and scanning electron microscope) used for sample fabrication and custom prototyping of nano devices, in particular magnetic nano-mechanical devices.
Hitachi S-5500 (Ultra-high resolution SEM)30 kV instrument with an in-lens sample position. As a result, resolution of this instrument is sufficient to observe lattice image in graphite.
Hydrogen ion source field ion microscopeBased on a field ion microscope; however, it is specifically designed to characterize hydrogen ion sources from nanotips and single atom tips.
JEOL JEM-2200FS (200 kV TEM/Cryo TEM)200 kV TEM / scanning TEM with Schottky electron source and cryo-polepiece. Optimized for imaging soft material science samples under cryogenic conditions. The large-gap polepiece promotes cryo electron tomography. The in-column energy filter provides a convenient means for electron energy loss spectroscopy, energy filtering imaging and diffraction.
Multiprobe STM (built in-house)Custom, ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscope (STM) with 3 scannable probes, each achieving atomic resolution. This microscope also has the ability to prepare and condition single-atom tips using an attached field ion microscope.
Omicron VT STM/AFMIn ultrahigh vacuum, this STM/atomic force microscope (AFM) utilizes a scanned tip design with a single tube scanner. The system employs the VT XA version that uses a firm cooling connection and an embedded heater element to cover a temperature range from 50 K to 650 K.
Veeco Dimension 3100 AFMProduces high-resolution, 3-dimensional images by scanning a sharp tip over the sample surface. The tip is part of a flexible cantilever mounted on one end of a cylindrical piezoelectric tube mounted near the top of the microscope.
Veeco NanoScope IV MultiMode AFMDesigned for imaging small (approximately 1.5 cm diameter) samples using a series of interchangeable scanners and able to provide ultrahigh-resolution images from the atomic scale to 175μm in size.
ZEISS NVision 40 (Dual beam FIB/SEM/Cryo TEM)Dual-beam instrument (focused ion beam and scanning electron microscope) used for sample fabrication and custom prototyping of nano devices, in particular magnetic nano mechanical devices. Can prepare samples at cryogenic temperature.
  • Hitachi High-Technologies (Canada and Japan)
  • JEOL
  • Kyushu University (Japan)
  • Omicron
  • Quantum Silicon Inc.
  • Xerox
  • L’Oréal
  • University of Alberta
  • Toyota
  • Corrected Electron Optical Systems (CEOS) GmbH
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • TechInsights Inc.
  • Colorsmith Labs Inc.
  • Norcada
  • Technical University of Denmark
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany)
  • Peter Grünberg Institute
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • University of British Columbia
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • RIKEN, Japan
  • National Institute for Materials Science Japan (NIMS)
  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Japan (AIST)
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
  • CIMAV Mexico
  • CONICET Argentina
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Standards Council of Canada
  • University of Victoria
  • Osaka University (Japan)
  • Osaka Prefecture University (Japan)
Nanotechnology Research Centre increasing the microscopy scale across Canadahttps://nrc.canada.ca/en/stories/nanotechnology-research-centre-increasing-microscopy-scale-across-canada