The department maintains world-class laboratory facilities with access to extensive equipment related to surfaces, colloid science, porous media, network analysis and X-ray tomography.

Equipment listing

Atomic force microscopes (AFM)

The department currently maintains three AFMs, at least one of which is open for general use to approved users within the university.

  • Asylum Research MFP-3D
  • Veeco - Multimode with Nanoscope IIIa
  • Bruker Multimode VIII with Peakforce QNM, Temperature Control and Peak Force TUNA

Contact (MFP-3D): Tim Senden
Contact (Bruker/Veeco): Vince Craig

KSV CAM200 contact angle goniometer

Video camera based and fully computer controlled Goniometer for the measurement of static or dynamic (advancing/receding) contact angles (DCA). Furthermore, surface & interfacial tension (SFT & IFT) measurements can be performed using the pendant drop or raising drop technique.

Contact: Vince Craig

Laurell WS-400B-6NPP-Lite spin coater

Capable of spinning a 150mm wafer up to 10000RPM.

Contact: Vince Craig

KSV QCM-Z500 quartz crystal microbalance

A computer controlled quartz crystal microbalance based on impedance analysis for determining the frequency (f)and the quality of resonance (Q) of quartz crystals in a gaseous or liquid environment. In other words, the QCM-Z500 microbalance is a mass sensing device with the ability to measure very small changes in mass on a quartz crystal resonator in real-time.

Contact: Vince Craig

Narishige MWO-202 3D hydraulic coarse/fine micromanipulator

A versatile coarse and fine movement integrated micromanipulator.

Contact: Vince Craig

Small-angle x-ray scattering apparatus

Applications / Capabilities: Study of mesostructured complex fluids and colloids between 10 and 300 Angstroms. Special Features: Guinier/Luzzati optics, film detector.

Contact: Stephen Hyde

Water plasma reactor (designed and built in-house)

Permits the passive cleaning of adventitious carbon from inorganic surface, rendering them reproducibly clean with a high degree of surface hydroxylation. Has a vacuum transference chamber for post cleaning reaction with reactive vapours, ie. silanes.

Particulate CO2 cleaner

Ultra-pure CO2 is forced at cylinder pressures through a sub-mm hole. High velocity particulate CO2 is then used to remove debris or contamination from a surface to be cleaned. A stream of clean N2 is used to remove solid CO2.


Mechanical testing equipment

Hg porosimeter

Sample pore size measurements

He pycnometer

Volume measurement of samples

X-ray computed tomography (XCT)

Microfocus (5 micron) X-ray source; very high resolution digital camera; custom reconstruction software; materials modelling software for elastic, conductive and porous materials; in-situ materials testing for fluid flow for time resolved tomography.

Contact (MFP-3D): Tim Senden Adrian Sheppard

» read more about x-ray tomography

Optical Reflectometer for studying the adsorption of surfactants and polymers

In house built instrument that measures the real time adsorption of polymers, surfactants and nanoparticles (<100nm) to surfaces using ellipsometry

Contact: Vince Craig

Updated:  15 January 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Department/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster