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IMM has a consolidated tradition in characterizations, due to the high-level expertise and top of the art instrumentation available in its units. In particular, IMM capabilities can be categorized in 5 general fields:

  • Morphological, structural and Chemical characterization
  • Electrical, Electro-chemical and Magneto-electrical characterization
  • Optical characterization
  • Thermal characterization
  • Transversal spectroscopic techniques

A synergic approach is actively developed in each unit and among the different units, to grant a comprehensive assessment of the physical and functional properties of materials and devices, and a crucial knowledge for the design and fabrication of systems for Microelectronics. The activity is also devoted to the development of innovative and non-commercial/standard techniques, methodologies, experimental setups for the study of new materials, devices and phenomena.

While in past years the activity has been mainly devoted to the study of semiconductor materials, presently the characterization techniques are also addressed to the study of low dimensional materials for Nanotechnology and Nanoelectronics. Novel characterization approaches for measuring the physical properties of nanomaterials, and even for locating and identifying atomic configurations within nanostructures, are developed.

Educational and training activities are regularly carried out within the characterization laboratories by the IMM researchers. The characterization facilities are also available to external entities (university users, industries, national institutions…).


Coordinator: Valentina Mussi


An extensive list of characterization techniques available at IMM follows, each technique is followed by a code identifying the units where it is available, for further details see the corresponding links:


Electron microscopes
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM, HRTEM) CHQ, B, L
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM, environmental SEM) CHQ, C, A, B, L, R
  • Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy w/o aberration correction (STEM) CHQ, B
  • Dual Beam Microscopy (FIB-SEM) CHQ, B, L
Scanning probes
  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM, MicroRaman/TERS integrated) CHQ, C, A, L, R
  • Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) A, R
X-rays methods
  • X-Ray Diffaction (XRD) CHQ, A, B, R and X-Ray Reflectometry (XRR) A, B
  • X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS, ESCA) A
  • X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) A, R
Hyperfine structure methods
  • Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) A
  • 57Fe and 119Sn Conversion electron Mössbauer spectroscopy (CEMS) A
  • On-line Mössbauer spectroscopy @ ISOLDE-CERN A
Chemical methods
  • Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) A
  • Total Organic Carbon Analyser C
  • Micro-Photoluminescence CHQ, L
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) R, A
  • Gas sensor characterization B, L, R
  • Chemical Analytical methods by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) L
  • Chemical Analytical methods by Gas Chromatography/Flame Ionization and Pulsed Discharge Detector (GC/FID and GC/PDD) B
  • IR Spectrophotometry C
Optical methods
  • Ellipsometry CHQ, A
  • E-Line HR EBL CHQ
  • Raman Microscopy-TERS CHQ, R, L
  • Optical Microscopy CHQ, L
Other methods
  • Contact Angle measurement system C
  • BET surface area analyser C
  • Scanning Microwave Microscopy R
  • TDS-THZ Imaging R

Scanning probes and electron microscopy based methods
  • Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) A L
  • Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy (C-AFM) CHQ, C, A, R, L
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM) A, L
  • Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM) A, R, L
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy-Cathodoluminescence C
  • In-situ TEM under electrical and chemical stimuli B
  • In-situ TEM/STEM under optical stimuli CHQ
Electrical methods
  • Probe-Stations for AC/DC/pulsed measurements CHQ, A, B, L, R
  • Probe for thin films piezoelectric characterization R
  • Impedence analyzer L, R
  • Electrodynamic Skaker R, L
  • PAR-apparatus CHQ
  • Four points sheet resistance CHQ
  • Spreading Resistance Probe CHQ
  • Piezometer L
  • Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy with LCR Meter L
  • Deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) CHQ
Electro-chemical methods
  • Low current electrochemical characterization in solution and solid-state B
  • Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy B
  • Photo-electrochemical characterization B
  • Potentiometry C, R
Electro-optical methods
  • Electro-optical characterization CHQ, L
  • Internal Photoemission Spectroscopy (IPE) A
  • Setup for spectral photocurrent and photocurrent mapping L
  • Setup for deep levels and current dynamics characterization L
  • Setup for optically induced electrical pulses in lipidic membranes L
Magneto-electrical methods
  • Magnetotransport Facility (Magnetoresistance) A
  • Quantum transport (Criomagnet @ He temperature) A
  • Ferromagnetic Resonance (FMR) w/o Vector network analyser R
  • Hall Effect Measurement System CHQ, A, B, L

  • Micro-Raman spectroscopy (multi wavelength, vis UV, thermal stage) CHQ, A, R, L
  • Confocal Optical Microscope for microPL and microRaman 2D Mapping- Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) L
  • Integrated AFM-MicroRaman-TERS system L
Infrared, visible, UV
  • Fourier-Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) A, R, B
  • IR Spectrophotometry C
  • Ultraviolet-Visible-near Infrared Spectrophotometry (UV-Vis-NIR) C, A, B, L, R
  • Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (SE) A
  • CW and ps-ns Photoluminescence (Time resolved) C, L, R
  • Spectrofluorimetry L
  • Lasers CHQ, L
  • UV-LED Lamp C
  • Photo/Electro-Reflectance L
  • Photocurrent spectroscopy L
  • Electroluminescence C, L
Other methods
  • Optical/Polarization Microscopy R
  • Near-Field Microscopy R
  • Photovoltaic lab CHQ
  • Solar Cell Characterization/Simulator CHQ, C, B
  • Streak camera for 1 ps Time Resoved Spectroscopy L
  • Electro-optical setup based on Pockels effect L
  • Plasmon enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy (PEF) L
  • TMOKE Magneto-optical characterization (multiwavelength VIS and variable angle configuration) L
  • SPR and LSPR in Krestchamn configuration L
  • Optical fiber – integrated Nanoplasmonic characterization L
  • Laser doppler vibrometer B
  • Characterization of the frequency response of optical devices B
  • Characterization of the polarization of optical signals B
  • 12 GHz and 150 MHz band optical characterization B
  • Raman Thermography R
  • 3-omega van der Pauw thermal resistivity A
  • In-situ TEM under thermal stress, B
  • In-situ TEM/STEM under cryogenic temperature CHQ

  • Micro-Raman spectroscopy (multi wavelength vis UV, thermal stage) A, R
  • Fourier-Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) A, B, R
  • Ultraviolet-Visible-near Infrared Spectrophotometry (UV-Vis-NIR) C, A, B, R
  • Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (SE) A
  • Internal Photoemission Spectroscopy (IPE) A
  • 57Fe and 119Sn Conversion electron Mössbauer spectroscopy (CEMS) A
  • On-line Mössbauer spectroscopy @ ISOLDE-CERN A
  • IR Spectrophotometry C
  • Scanning Microwave Microscopy R
  • Terahertz time-domain (TDS-THZ) Spectroscopy/Imaging R
  • Transient Absorption Spectroscopy R
  • CW and ps-ns Time Resolved Photoluminesce L, R
  • Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy CHQ
  • Photo/Electro-Reflectance L
  • Photocurrent spectroscopy L
  • Confocal Optical Microscope for microPL and microRaman 2D Mapping- Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) L
  • Streak camera for 1 ps Time Resolved Spectroscopy L
  • Gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometer (MS) and gas sensor L
  • TEM/STEM-Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy CHQ, L
  • TEM/STEM-Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy CHQ, L