Structure, Morphology and Topography

The Structure, Morphology and Topography Facility covers all areas related to structure, morphology and topography. In this respect, the facility has a number of state of the art instruments to support the growing research activities relative to inorganic and composite materials, polymers and powders.

For the identification of structures as well as the study of structural quality, the main technique used in this facility is X-ray diffraction. This technique not only helps with the identification of phases but can also give an in-depth view with respect to preferred orientation or residual stress inside the material. As phase transformations can be studied with respect to temperature as well as humidity, the compatibility of a material to be used in specific environments can be tested based on the stability of its consisting phases.

The facility's high vacuum and environmental SEMs provide high-resolution images and topographic and chemical information of the sample's surface. Together with the use of complementary tools such as 3D surface profilometry, the thickness of coatings and surface roughness can be determined. The facility's tools are also used to study material wear as well as material failure and can be used for the study of material adhesion.

Our analytical capabilities and skills have already been helpful for the glass, steel, packaging, building, and polymer industries, as well as the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.


  • Bruker D8 Discovery (series II) comprising a Cu Kα and Mo Kα anodes
  • PANalytical X'Pert Pro comprising a Cu Kα anode
  • Agilent AFM 5100 (availability of liquid cell)
  • Oxford Instruments MFP-3D Infinity AFM
  • KLA-Tencor profilometer
  • FEI Environmental SEM combined with EDX system
  • Hitatchi SU-70 SEM combined with EDX/WDS system

Expertise and possible applications

  • Failure analysis, detection of defects, wear analysis
  • Quantitative phase analysis
  • Phase identification
  • Texture analysis
  • Residual stress analysis
  • Phase transformation analysis (with respect to temperature, humidity)
  • Stress analysis
  • Roughness analysis
  • Characterisation of nanoparticle's size and strain


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Presentation flyer

Download the presentation flyer of the Structure, Morphology and Topography facility!


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