Characterization, when used in materials science, refers to the use of external techniques to probe into the internal structure and properties of a material. Characterization can take the form of actual materials testing, or analysis, for example in some form of microscope. Analysis techniques are used simply to magnify the specimen, to visualize its internal structure, and to gain knowledge as to the distribution of elements within the specimen and their interactions.

A full suite of material characterization tools is available from imaging techniques such as atomic force microscopy to transmission electron microscopy, as well as surface analysis techniques of XPS, Auger and SIMS.  Each technique is specific to the sample being tested and information desired.  Some techniques available are only offered on a fee-for-service basis, while training can be provided on other characterization tools.  Please consult the appropriate staff member regarding the characterization tool of interest for your needs.


In this section

  • SEM
    A scanning electron microscope (SEM) is a type of electron microscope that produces images of a sample by scanning it with a focused beam of electrons. The electrons interact…
  • Microscopy
    Microscopy is the technical field of using microscopes to view samples and objects that cannot be seen with the unaided eye (objects that are not within the…
  • Probe Station
    A mechanical probe station is used to physically acquire signals from the internal nodes of a semiconductor device. The probe station utilizes manipulators which allow the…