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Microscopy and Characterization Suite (MaCS)

Center for Advanced Energy Studies building

Understanding the complex nature of materials has always been one of the great challenges of science, but in the world of energy it is critical to improving the safety and operating efficiency of everything from nuclear power plants to automobiles to medical imaging. Microscopy and Characterization Suite (MaCS) at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) located on MK Simpson Boulevard near the Idaho Falls location for Idaho State University and the University of Idaho and alongside Idaho National Laboratory’s research facilities, offers researchers top-of-the-line microscopy and analysis equipment for delving into radiological and nonradiological materials at the atomic level.

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What is MaCS?

The Microscopy and Characterization Suite (MaCS) is a state-of-the-art materials characterization laboratory that provides cross-cutting capabilities that support the Center for Advanced Energy Studies’ (CAES) mission in multiple initiative areas. MaCS is largely made possible through its partnership with the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF).

MaCS contains several high-end pieces of equipment. These include:

    • Two Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopes (STEM) ThermoFisher Spectra 300 – monochromated, double-corrected, 30 – 300kV and Tecnai TF30-FEG – Images materials structurally and chemically down to sub-Angstrom scale. Equipped with HAADF, EDS, EELS, EFTEM, Electron Tomography, ASTAR/TopSpin, PicoIndenter, Heating Stage, etc.
    • Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) (LEAP 4000X HR, CAMECA Instruments) – Creates atom-by-atom maps and images 3-D construction of up to hundreds of millions of atoms.
    • Dual Focused Ion Beam (Quanta 3D FEG, FEI) – High-resolution, high-vacuum dual-beam SEM/FIB for 2-D and 3-D material characterization and analysis. Equipped with EDS, EBSD and STEM detector.
    • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) (JSM-6610LV, JEOL) – Images material surfaces ranging from micrometer to nanometer scale under high-vacuum and low-vacuum environment. Equipped with EDS, EBSD and CL.
    • NanoIndenter/Atomic Force Microscope (NIAFM) (TI-950 Triboindenter, Hysitron) – Nanomechanical test instrument for measuring the hardness and elastic modulus of materials, and imaging surface morphology down to atomic scale.
    • X-Ray Diffractometer (SmartLab, Rigaku) – Includes standard and parallel beam for use with thin films, powders, nanomaterials.
    • NanoMill (Model 1040, Fischione) – Low-energy, low-angle argon ion milling instrument used for preparing ultra-thin, high-quality transmission electron microscopy (TEM) specimens.
    • Microhardness Tester (LM247AT, LECO) –Measures and evaluates microhardness of materials.

MaCS Staff