The laboratory of Microstructural Characterization groups the instrumentations for metals and crystalline material characterization.
Two Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) are available for morphological studies, allowing investigation from millimeter to nanometer size: fracture surfaces, external appearance, inclusions as well as other microstructural features can be observed. Optical microscopes are also available to support sample observation before SEM analyses.
SEMs are equipped with Back Scattered Electron (BSE) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS) detectors for qualitative and semi-quantitative chemical analyses, and EBSD (Electron Back Scattered Diffraction) detector for phase identification and texture analyses on microscopic scale.
An XRD diffractometer is also available for crystallographic studies on macroscopic scale. The instrument can be equipped with two non-ambient temperature chambers, allowing crystallographic analyses and phase transformation studies between -180°C and 1200°C.
The laboratory facilities are completed by a set of instrument for specimen cutting, mounting, grinding and polishing and other operations in order to obtain the required conditions for the different microstructural analyses.

Hitachi SU70 – FEG SEM

High magnification trasmission micrograph: precipitates in aluminum alloy

Micrograph of electrolitic nickel powder
EBSD analysis example: twins in Ni-alloy

X’Pert PRO MPD diffractometer
Xray diffraction study of microstructural evolution of a sample subjected to thermal treatment
    • Scanning Electron Microscope Hitachi SU-70 (FEG-SEM) for high resolution imaging, equipped with:
      • Conventional in-chamber detectors for secondary (E-T) and solid state detector for backscattered electrons;
      • High resolution in-column detectors for secondary and backscattered electrons with energy filter;
      • Scanning transmission electron detector (STEM);
      • Micro-analitical system for energy dispersion spectroscopy (EDS) with LN-free SDD detector;
      • Micro-analitical system for electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD) acquisition and analysis.

    • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM LEO 1430) with tungsten source, with secondary and back-scattered electron detectors, Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) Oxford INCA Energy and Electron Back-Scattered Diffraction (EBSD) INCA Crystal.

    • Metallographic light microscope Aristomet equipped with polarizing filter.

    • Stereo-microscope equipped with LED lighting and polarizing filter.

    • Micro-indenter Leitz Miniload.

    • X-ray Powder Diffractometer, Panalytical XPert PRO MPD with θ-θ alignment, equipped with:
      • X'Celerator linear detector;
      • Non-ambient temperature chamber Anton Paar TTK-450 (-190/+450°C) and Anton Paar HTK 1200N(25°C/1200°C);
      • Spinner for phi scan measurements.

    • Instruments for metallographic preparation: metallographic diamond saw, grinding and polishing equipment, hot mounting press, sputter.

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