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ENS Cachan - Institut d'Alembert

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Materials characterization

Using the technical platform "characterization of materials" allows to shape and to characterize, from the micrometric down to the nanometric size, organic materials which are used in the projects concerned with photo-physical appearance, photochemistry as well as photonic of the Institute. The study of compounds or samples in these various domains requires a preliminary characterization. Indeed, it is always necessary to know the composition, the stability as well as the size of the objects which we study to understand better their properties.

Microscope à force atomique (AFM)
Atomic force microscope (AFM)

The equipments are used at different stages of the realization of a molecule, a nanoparticle or a component. Their complementary functions allow to distribute them according to various categories:
  • Measurements on products from synthetic activity, in order to validate a good grafting or the properties of new compound (thermal analysis TGA/DSC and FTIR spectroscopy)
  • Thin film evaporation for organic compound (PVD technic)
  • Morphologic and Topographic characterization to determine the size, the shape and the chemical composition of nanoparticles, thin film or chip (AFM, SEM with EDX analysis)
  • Optical characterization of thin films (Spectroscopic Ellipsometry)

Détecteur EDX sur MEB
EDX detector installed on the Scanning Electron Microscope

AFM picture from a thin film after physical vapor deposition of N-(3,5-di-tert-butylsalicylidène)-4-iodoaniline.
The thickness and the homogeneity of nanometric layers of polypyroll done by electrodeposition around carbon fibers were measured by TGA and AFM (ANR "PROCOM")
In the "Bioptofluidic" project, AFM and FTIR spectrometer were used to verify the grafting of self-assembled molecules (SAM) at the surface of a SU-8 film.

This plateform is also used by researcheres from other institute or university like: ICMMO Laboratory (Orsay), Ecole Centrale de Paris, LMT Laboratory...


Rasta GHASEMI (SEM with EDX)
Chi Thanh NGUYEN (spectroscopic ellipsometer)

Equipments list

- Atomic force microscope
- Scanning electron microscope and EDX
- Physical vapor deposition for organic compounds
- Spectroscopic ellipsometer


The equipments are localised in different rooms/buildings :
- d'Alembert building- 3rd floor - PPSM
- d'Alembert building- 2nd - LPQM (Ellipsometer)
- IDA building - ground floor - room B31 (SEM)