SEM Acquisition for Structural and Mechanical Characterization of Bio-, Meta- and Low Dimensional Materials

Project: Research project

Project Details


The ever-decreasing spatiotemporal scales in which advances in material engineering are being defined, call for the implementation of the most modern imaging and testing capabilities. In this respect, the resolution offered by modern scanning electron microscopes (SEM) provides unprecedented capabilities for: i) unraveling the synergistic relationships between material composition and architecture found in natural materials, ii) resolving reliability issues that limit the widespread application of low-dimensional materials in new electronics, sensors, solar cells, batteries, iii) allowing the inspection of materials and parts produced by novel nanoscale self-assembly and additive manufacturing processes, iv) characterizing physically and chemically coupled plasmonic nanoparticles arrays, and v) advancing in-situ experiments for validation of computational models developed using multi-scale and machine learning approaches, to cite a few. We propose the acquisition of a state-of-the-art SEM, Thermo Fisher ScientificTM ApreoTM S LoVac, to modernize and augment the multidisciplinary Micro- and Nano-mechanics (MNM) multi-user core facility within the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University (NU). In sharp contrast to other microscopy facilities at NU, the MNM core facility is the only campus facility opened to users who need access to an electron microscope for performing long-duration (several hours to a day or more) in-situ experiments that require specialized set ups. As such, the proposed instrument will directly impact faculty groups and research projects, supported by the Department of Defense (DoD), by providing ultra-high imaging resolution, new imaging modalities, and analytical tools to advance fundamental and applied micro- and nano-mechanical investigations pertaining to a wide array of material classes and technologies. The proposal elaborates on the impact of the instrument in DoD strategic areas of research and workforce development rel
Effective start/end date9/15/229/14/23


  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-22-1-0474)


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.