To understand the correlation between material microstructure and mechanical properties, ESI provides different facilities capable of reveiling structures down to the atomic level, as well as probing material properties at very small length scales, for example in situ in electron microscopes or x-ray facilities.


The JEOL JEM-2100F is field emission gun transmission electron microscope operating between 80 kV and 200 kV. It is equipped with an imaging spherical aberration corrector (CEOS), an Oxford INCA Energy TEM 200 EDS system, a high-angle annular dark field detector, a Gatan annular dark field/bright field STEM detector, as well as a Gatan Tridiem image filter (GIF) system. With the aberration corrector, the ultrahigh resolution atom imaging of the crystal lattice can be readily achieved.


The Philips CM 12 TEM has a microprocessor-based control system, and can operate at various accelerating voltages (20, 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 kV), depending on the sample and technique used. The resulting image can be displayed, captured and saved via a digital camera onto a PC. The microscope has a cold beam gun which causes less damage to the specimen.

The LEO 1540XB is a dual beam focused ion beam workstation (FIB), providing a 30 kV Ga+ion beam that is employed for local material removal, in combination with an electron beam that allows to monitor the structuring process.

The Veeco Dimension AFM is a large sample platform for almost all standard SPM techniques (topography imaging including phase mapping, MFM, LFM etc.). Replacing the standard cantilever holder by a Hysitron transducer enables the user to perform various mechanical tests on the micron and nanometre scale: instrumented indentation, scratch- and scanning wear tests with high precision and reproducibility, under ambient air or in fluid. In–situ SPM imaging allows exact positioning (10 nm) of the probe tip.

Small-angle X-ray scattering system designed for SAXS, WAXS and GISAXS investigations. The system is equipped with a Vantec-2000 detector and an image plate, an Incoatec microfocus source IµS, a XY stage for scanning experiments, a heating chamber and a tensile stage.

Wide-angle X-ray diffraction system designed for position-resolved WAXD studies on structured materials. The system is equipped with a HI-STAR area detector, a rotating anode, and an optical system for position resolved measurements.


The LEO-982 is a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with a field emission gun (FEG) that is dedicated to be used for in-situ micro-mechanical testing at high resolution. Therefore, it can be equipped with different miniaturized loading devices (ASMEC microindenter, Hysitron PI-85 Picoindenter) and an in-situ AFM (AFSEM).

The Rigaku SmartLab 5-Axis X-ray diffractometer is designed for diffraction analysis of thin films and powders. The system is equipped with HR optics, an X-ray mirror, a secondary monochromator and a 1D detector.


This scanning electron microscope (Leo 1525, Zeiss) is equipped with a field emission gun in combination with the unique Gemini-lens system from Zeiss, allowing for the significantly better resolution required for the needs of cutting-edge microstructural characterization in material science research. Therefore, the system is equipped with an electron backscatter detection (EBSD) system, EDS, and a various in-situ deformation devices (Kammrath & Weiss or homebuilt).

The Wafer Curvature techniques offers great possibilities for fast in-situ investigation of film stresses during any thermal process in a non-destructive manner. This system allows testing temperatures between room temperature and 1000 °C.

The Hitachi E-3500 Cross Section Polisher, using a broad argon ion beam, is used for producing high quality material cross-sections, and serves as a forerunner to the FIB in order to ease and accelerate the production of miniaturized specimens.

The Zeiss Auriga dual beam focused ion beam workstation provides a 30 kV Ga+ ion beam that is employed for local material removal, in combination with an electron beam that allows to monitor the structuring process. In addition, it is equipped with a femtosecond laser tool for material structuring.