Pictures presenting some of the facilities

Examples of the CICECO labs resources:

  • Electron Microscopes: HR-(EF)TEM 200 kV JEOL 2200FS; HR-FESEM Hitachi SU-70;
  • Atomic Force Microscopes (Veeco, Agilent);
  • Single-crystal and powder XRD diffractometers (variable T/atmosphere);
  • Solid-state NMR (Bruker Avance II, 400 MHz w.b., 500 MHz n.b. with LC NMR);
  • FTIR, FT Raman, UV-Vis (reflectance);
  • Thermal analysers (DSC, DTA, TG);
  • Extensive mass spectrometry, GC and LC equipment;
  • Dielectric, piezoelectric, ferroelectric characterization;
  • Photoluminescence spectrometers.

The electrical measurements laboratory is dedicated to the characterization of the dielectric, ferroelectric and piezoelectric properties of single crystals, thin and thick films and ceramics over a wide range of conditions.
The high temperature (up to 800 °C) dielectric measurement system consists of a HP 4284A (20 Hz to 1 MHz) LCR meter interfaced to a desktop computer. The temperature is precisely (± 10 °C) controlled over the entire temperature range using a Eurotherm 2404 temperature controller. Similarly, the low temperature dielectric measurements are carried out using a Agilent E4980A (20 Hz to 2 MHz) LCR meter. The sample stage is cooled down to -250 °C using a closed cycle refrigerator (CCR) and the measurement chamber is evacuated to a pressure of the order of 10-6 torr using a variant turbo molecular pump. Both the dielectric measurements are automated using LabView software with the desktop computer, where the data is collected at precise temperature, frequency and dc bias intervals defined by the user.
Two experimental setups are being utilized for determining the ferroelectric properties of the materials. One is the Sawyer- Tower circuit (0-12 kV) and the other consists of a TF1000 measurement system (AixACCT), control PC, Trek 609E-6 High voltage amplifier (up to 10 KV), probe station for thin films and a variety of sample fixtures for bulk ceramics and single crystals. The probe station includes a sample stage holder and two Signatone S-725- CLM x-y-z micro-positioners. This system is also capable of measuring capacitance as a function of voltage, leakage current and ferroelectric fatigue.
The piezoelectric constant (d33) of piezoelectric ceramics, polymers, and single crystals is directly measured using a Sinocera YE2730A d33 meter. This instrument has the capability to measure the d33 values in various single crystal directions for crystals such as lithium niobate, quartz, and tourmaline over a very large range, at high resolution, and with a high degree of reliability. The measurement is quick, and easily made with a minimum of training required. Specimens of a variety of sizes and shapes can easily be accommodated and measured. For example, the d33 value of disks, blocks, rings, tubes and semispherical shells can be easily measured. The direct d33 value readout is displayed on a 3 1/2 inch digital meter. This instrument is invaluable as a tool for quality assurance of piezoelectric materials, production in-line inspection, or for research applications.
For high frequency measurements, a Aeroflex IFR 6823 Microwave Scalar Analyzer (10 MHz to 20 GHz) is employed. The three input scalar analyzer provides network characterization of components and systems with simultaneous measurement of insertion and return loss with excellent measurement accuracy, which is assured by the use of EEPROM corrected detectors. The synthesized source has low phase noise and 1 Hz frequency resolution.
The DC electrical measurements including voltage, current, charge, and resistance are measured using a Keithley Model 617 Programmable Electrometer. In the standard configuration, two forms of resistance measurements are included: constant current method and constant voltage method that uses a built in voltage source for greater sensitivity. The measuring range of the electrometer is, 0.1 fA to 20 mA in the current mode, 10 mV to 100 V for the voltage measurement and 10 fC and 20 nC in the Coulombs mode.