Southampton Nanofabrication Centre


Southampton Nano Centre offers a range of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) for surface metrology analysis, electro-optical characterisation and research level activities. The centre is equipped with four high performance nano probe metrology tools cater for different commercial, research requirements and demands. These systems have the ability to perform high spectral and spatial microscopy and spectrometry over a wide range of specimens, from biological to semiconductor materials:

High Resolution SPM

This microscope can visualise single-walled carbon nanotubes, semiconductor nanowires and single proteins. Atomic lattices can be investigated by tunnelling current from the probe to the surface of a suitable material and examining the local density of electronic states. The system modes include atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), force distance curves, lateral force microscopy (LFM), Kelvin probe microscopy (KFM) and scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM).

Integrated SPM-Raman System

This is an integrated microscopy system consisting of a high performance SPM and laser Raman spectrometer. The system is able to work separately in SPM mode or in very high resolution confocal Raman spectroscopy. Integration of both systems provides users the opportunity to perform tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) on nanoscale structures. The system is also capable of performing atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM) and phase imaging.

Integrated Cryogenic SPM System

This system is designed and configured for high vacuum scanning probe microscopy and device characterisation in very low temperature environments. The system is cooled to a temperature of less than 10 K by liquid helium and capable of performing all standard atomic force microscopy (AFM) modes, scanning near-field optical microscopy (SNOM), conductive AFM, confocal microscopy and is integrated to a multi laser Raman spectrometer system. This system is ideal for low temperature semiconductor device research such as quantum nanodots, nanowire electronics and photonics.

Standard SPM System

This is an entry level SPM system designed for routine microscopy and also constitutes an educational tool for undergraduate and postgraduate projects. The stand-alone system is capable of producing high resolution topography images at the nanometer scale and can handle wafers of any size. This is ideal for routine analysis of nanofabricated structures by atomic force microscopy (AFM).