Micro and Nanomechanics Laboratory – NANOMEC

Micro and Nanomechanics Laboratory - NANOMEC

The Micro and Nanomechanics Laboratory (NANOMEC) is located at IMDEA Materials Institute and is organized into two fundamental units:

  • Materials Microstructural Characterization Unit
  • Materials Micromechanical Characterization Unit

The Service coordinator of the laboratory is Dr. Srdjan Milenkovic. Both units also has the scientific supervision of the senior researchers responsible for each of the research lines.

The Micro and Nanomechanics Laboratory Laboratory (NANOMEC) is structured as follows:

  • Services coordinator: Dr. Srdjan Milenkovic.
  • Materials Microstructural Characterization Unit:
    • X-ray characterization:
      Technical responsible: Javier García.
      Scientific coordinator: Federico Sket.
    • Electron microscopy: 3D microscopy at different time scales, 3D-SEM, 3D-EDS and 3D-EBSD in the FIB and 3D-TEM and 3D-EDS in the TEM.
      Technical responsible: Manuel Avella.
      Scientific coordinator: Jon Molina.
  • Materials Micromechanical Characterization Unit: Micro and nanomechanical testing by instrumented nanoindentation, including non-ambient conditions.
    • Nanoindentation:
      Technical responsible: Miguel Monclús.
      Scientific coordinator: Jon Molina.
  • Characterization of mechanical properties (resistance, hardness, plasticity, ductility, elasticity, fatigue and creep) of metallic and plastic materials up to 10kN of force and fibers up to 1N of force.
  • Characterization of nano-mechanical properties (nano indentation, scrach, friction coefficient, micro-pillar compression) with controlled atmosphere at room temperature and high temperature (750ºC) and 750mN force ranges.
  • Characterization of the microstructure through controlled pressure scanning microscopy (SEM).
  • Surface characterization in three dimensions at nanometric scale by means of atomic force microscopy (AFM).
  • Characterization of deformation mechanisms and fracture mechanisms with in-situ tests using controlled pressure scanning microscopy (SEM) and mechanical testing machine in metallic and composite materials.
  • Characterization in TEM or STEM mode and performance of chemical analysis by EDS; TEM, STEM and EDS mode tomography; in-situ mechanical tests inside the TEM using the Hysitron PIcoindenter PI95 holder.
  • Defects characterization and internal structure by X-ray computational tomography.
  • Characterization of fracture mechanisms with in-situ tests using X-ray computational tomography and mechanical testing machine in composite materials.
  • Processing of images obtained by optical microscopy, electron microscopy and X-ray computational tomography.
  • Identification and quantification through diffraction of the crystalline phases that form the sample, as well as determining the texture and residual stress of that sample.

Current available equipments:

Materials Microstructural Characterization Unit:

  • Computational X-ray microtomography for three-dimensional visualization and quantitative analysis of microstructural details of a wide range of materials from metallic and mineral powders to polymers and biomaterials. Equipment:
    • GE Nanotom: The scanner combines a 160 kV X-ray source to study high absorption materials together with a nanofocus that provides high resolution (≤ 1 µm). Analysis of samples up to 120 mm diameter and 150 mm length and up to 2 kg weight.
  • X-ray diffractometer with Cu and Cr anodes to determine and quantify the crystalline phases of solid or powder materials. Measurement range up to 150º 2θ and different optical configurations available (divergent, parallel or focused beam). PIXcel 1D detector for simultaneous measurement of different angular positions. It has a 5-axis platform (χ-φ-x-y-z) and a rotating platform that allows measurements in transmission mode. It has texture analysis software, residual stresses, as well as HighScore Plus and an updated ICDD database.
  • Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with the following equipment:
    • ZEISS EVO MA15, Controlled pressure SEM, with the ability to analyze insulating materials. Includes energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS).
    • FEI Helios 600i, High resolution SEM (FEGSEM) equipped with a focused ion beam source (FIB) for material micromachining and 3D characterization, including energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD).
    • Talos F200X FEI, FEG S/TEM which integrates a chemical analysis system by energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS), a CMOS digital camera to acquire images with a maximum resolution of 4×4 k, a tomography system to perform tomographies in TEM, STEM and EDS mode and a Hysitron PicoIndenter PI95 holder, to conduct in-situ nano-mechanical tests (S/TEM-Ind).
  • On-site mechanical test micromachines:
    • Traction-compression: A micromachine for mechanical tensile / compression tests to carry out tests in the scanning electron microscope with a load capacity of 10 kN and a maximum temperature of 600ºC (Kammrath & Weiss).
    • Fibers: A mechanical testing micromachine for scanning electron microscope testing with a loading resolution of 1 µN (Kammrath & Weiss) for testing microfibers.
    • μTM: Micromachine, designed and manufactured by IMDEA Materials, which can be used, both under synchrotron radiation or in laboratory tomography systems, to study the generation and propagation of damage in a wide variety of materials.
    • Holder Hysitron PicoIndenter PI95, to conduct nanomechanical tests in-situ (S/TEM-Ind).
  • Optical microscopy with integrated image processing software using:
    • Olympus BX-51, optical microscope.
  • Atomic force microscopy (AFM) with equipment:
    • Park XE150, AFM to carry out characterization of materials at nanoscale, including contact and non-contact atomic force microscopy. This equipment also allows to carry out magnetic microscopy, thermal microscopy, nanolithography and measurements at high temperatures up to 250 ºC.

Materials Mechanical Characterization Unit:

  • Nanoindentation instrumented by two equipments:
    • Hysitron Triboindener TI950, nanoindenter with multiple loading heads optimized for different applications (maximum loading resolution, 1 nN), dynamic measurements, scratch and wear tests, SPM imaging obtention, and elastic modulus maps with the indentation tip itself.
    • Micromaterials Nanotest: This instrument allows nanoindentations to be carried out at temperatures up to 750ºC in an inert atmosphere. The equipment uses heating of both the tip and the sample, ensuring high stability during the test, which also allows creep studies.

In order to obtain further information on the NANOMEC services and/or an specific technical-economic offer, send an e-mail to contact.materials@imdea.org

For the specific case of TEM and X-ray Tomography services, contact directly with the technical responsible of each equipment. For TEM (manuel.avella@imdea.org) and for X-ray Tomography (javier.garcia@imdea.org).

TEM (for further information, click here).

X-ray tomography (for further information, click here).

The rates for the rest of the services will vary depending on the characterization work required (type of material, type of tests, number of samples, test standards, etc.).


C/ Eric Kandel, 2


28906, Getafe, Madrid (España)

Getting Here

Telephone: (+34) 91 549 34 22