Expand capabilities for research, development and materials quality control.


The Nanomaterials Core Characterization Facility (NCC) is an open access, nationally ranked collaborative materials analysis multiuser facility where researchers from universities and industry have access to the capabilities of our state-of-the-art instrumentation and expert advice.


The NCC offers technologies that benefit multi-disciplinary industrial and scholarly research in a broad range of sciences from: regenerative medicine, biotechnology, biology, forensic science, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, materials science, aerospace and microelectronics.


The NCC also provides a conduit to scientists and industry in a collaborative effort between the College of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Engineering.


What the NCC can do for you:



PANalytical MPD X’Pert Pro

Hitachi SU-70 FE-SEM

Zeiss Auriga FIB-SEM

X-ray diffraction crystallography

-This kind of analysis is critical in a wide range of industries such as cosmetics, environmental, food science, pharmaceuticals, quality control and failure analysis.

-Determine the phase composition of any powder unknown crystalline material.

-Identify the unknown materials as well as provide quantitative composition ratios in mixed phase samples through comparisons to reference patterns.

XRD Equipment:

Electron microscopy

-Electron microscopy (both SEM and TEM) has become a powerful tool for the characterization of the morphology of material samples. It is used in nearly every materials oriented industry.

-Imaging of bulk samples down to approximately 1.0nm resolution.

-Image samples to 0.34 nm edge to edge resolution for electron transparent samples it is.

-Full chemical mapping of elements or crystallite regions using analytical features on the various microscopes.

-Manipulation of nanometer sized samples.

-Manipulation of samples, ion mill layers <2.5nm in size, or use e-beam lithography to build structures.


SEM and TEM Equipment:


Electron surface chemical analysis

-Electron surface chemical analysis (ESCA) is an extremely powerful tool for the characterization of surface chemical composition. It is used in nearly any industry interested in the surface chemical of a material sample.

-Determine not only the chemical composition, but also the chemical and electronic states of those elements.

-Detect the chemical composition as thin as atomic monolayers from 77K to 600K.

-Manipulate the samples orientation, etch layers off the surface to do depth profiling, and even the impact of gas phase reactions.

ESCA Equipment:

ThermoFisher ESCAlab 250


-The NCC proves two different forms of spectroscopy, x-ray fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy.  These instruments are extremely sensitive providing chemical composition and chemical state information on a variety of samples ranging for polymer compositions to powder inorganic samples.

Other capabilities in the lab include molecular weight determination of polymers using gel-permeation chromatography, as well as surface wettability using contact angle.  The NCC has the capabilites to measure the surface roughness and topography using atomic force microscopes, as well as electrical properties as a function of temperature and magnetic field.


If you don't see what you need, contact us. We help make connections for the capabilities you may need.

Nanomaterials Core Characterization Facility

620 West Cary Street

Richmond, Virginia 23284

Copyright ©Virginia Commonwealth University Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Program. All Rights Reserved.