Characterization Facility

The Characterization Facilities contain instruments for material properties characterization, including Field Emission SEM, Powder X-ray Diffractometer, and AFM. 


Before users are allowed to operate the equipment at the Facility, they are required to attend a training session and pass a test. Please contact the respective equipment administrator for more information (contact detail below) before requesting for training. To schedule a training session, complete the Request Training Form​. Please read the lab rules, the Do's and Don'ts policy, and manuals before use.

Booking Equipment

After passing the training, you may book the equipment via CEBS NTU (FOM login). You need to register an account in FOM if this is your first access. If you are not an NTU staff member or student, please email our facility staff (contact detail below).

The charging rate schedule is shown below. Different rates are charged for SPMS users, NTU Non-SPMS users, Non-NTU academic users, and commercial users.

​EquipmentLocation​ ​(SPMS-PAP)NTU SPMS​ ​​NTU Non-SPMS​ ​​​Non-NTU ​Academic ​
​Cypher ES​01-11A​​$40 / hr​$140 / hr​​$60 / hr​​$160 / hr​$300 / sample
​JPK NanoWizard®3​01-11A​​$40 / hr​$140 / hr​​​$60 / hr​$160 / hr​$300 / sample
Bruker Dimension XR Icon01-11A$40 / hr$140 / hr​​$60 / hr​​$160 / hr$300 / sample
​Field Emission SEM
Carl Zeiss SEM /EDS​01-05​​$40 / hr​$140 / hr​​$60 / hr​​$160 / hr​$300 / sample
​Rigaku SmartLab
​01-11B​​$40 / hr#​​$140 / hr​​​$60 / hr#​​$160 / hr​$300 / sample
PPMS​01-11B​—​$345 / 24 hrs​—​​$460 / 24 hrs​$800 / sample
MPMS**​01-11B​—​​$350 / 24 hrs​—​​$500 / 24 hrs​$1000 / sample
(2 hrs/session)
​—​$200 ​—​​$300 ​—

** Rate is $2000 for the first 4 days of usage if SQUID is in warm-up state.
# User must have a valid radiation licence.
 Price is per session, per trainee, and per equipment.

Charging Policies

  1. ​Charging applies to all faculty, research staff and students.
  2. Charges do not include Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  3. Manpower cost ($100/hr) will apply for usage with assistance provided by PAP Central Facilities staff for ALL NTU users. Manpower cost is incorporated for PPMS, MPMS, XPS and Non-NTU users.
  4. Users will need to supply or purchase the necessary materials for characterization.
  5. For urgent test or usage request with assistance, users will need to contact the equipment administrator in advance.
  6. Charges will still apply if users fail to turn up for usage after the booking. Hence, users are advised to cancel their slot 24-hours before the booking, in order to free up the slots for other users.
  7. For usage without booking and FOM login, charges will still apply and warning email will be sent to the user cc. supervisor. User will be banned from entering the laboratory for 3 months.
  8. Billing for NTU users will be on a monthly basis.
  9. For external academic and industry companies, please email us at [email protected] for a quote.
  10. We reserve the rights to change the charging rates and policies at any time without prior notice.​

For further enquiries, please contact our equipment administrators.

Location: SPMS-PAP-01-11/13/18/22, 21 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637371.

Hours: 8:30 am — 5:30 pm, Monday to Sunday.

AFMMs. Yeo Elaine[email protected]69047160
SEMMs. Zhu Wenting Ella[email protected]65141016
HR-XRD (Rigaku)Ms. Yeo Elaine[email protected]69047160
PPMSMs. Chen Xiuying (Dr)[email protected]69701802
MPMS​Ms. Chen Xiuying (Dr)[email protected]69701802

Carl Zeiss Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) /EDS (PAP-01-05)

Carl Zeiss Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Auriga 

The Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) Auriga 60 basic work station has a large specimen chamber with Gemini column features Schottky field emission Gemini electron column operating between 100V and 30kV, capable of resolutions of 1.0nm at 15kV and 1.9nm at 1kV at working distance (WD). The magnification is from 12 to 1.000.000x.

Standard detectors
  1. In-lens detector : High resolution SE imaging. 
  2. SE2 detector: It detects SEs as well as BSEs ( pseudo-backscattered image).

Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) Oxford Instrument

Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) provides elemental and chemical analysis of a sample inside the SEM with Aztec in qualitative and quantitative analysis. 

User Manuals

Approach equipment manager for link to download the manuals


Atomic Force Microscope (JPK AFM NanoWizard® 3 with Options)

For imaging (contact mode and AC mode) and force spectroscopy, with the fluorescence capability and inverted microscopy. 

User Manual

Cypher ES Environmental SPM (Asylum Research/Oxford Instrument)

The Cypher ES SPM offers atomic resolution and good quality images in controlled gas or liquid environments, at variable temperatures from 0-250°C. It is very useful for piezoresponse, electrical and magnetic, and mechanical property measurements. Asylum’s BlueDrive Photothermal Excitation improves tapping mode imaging in liquids, and provides significant performance and ease of use benefits.

AFM operation modes
  • Contact mode (High Resolution Atomic)
  • AC mode
  • Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM)
  • Single Frequency PFM
  • Vector PFM
  • Litho PFM
  • DARTTM PFM (include switching spectroscopy)
  • Electric and Magnetic
  • Electric Force Microscopy (EFM)
  • Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM)
  • Conductive AFM with ORCATM
  • Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM)
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
  • NanoMechanics
  • AM-FM Mode
  • Dual ACTM
  • Dual AC Resonance Tracking (DART)
  • Fast Force Mapping & Force Volume Mode
  • Lateral Force Mode (LFM)
  • BlueDrive Photothermal Excitation

User Manual

bruker AFM

Bruker Dimension XR Icon AFM (2021)

The Dimension XR with Icon Scanner is a tip scanning system with motorised stage designed for handling large sample and customised sample holders or apparatus mounting, while offering high resolution and good quality images in air or liquid. It is very useful for piezoresponse, electrical, magnetic, and mechanical property measurements. Bruker’s PeakForce Tapping with precise control of probe-sample interactions allows for use of lowest imaging forces to give consistent highest resolution imaging, even on challenging samples. Coupled with Scanasyst which is a self-optimisation imaging mode, it enables one to obtain high resolution AFM images regardless of user experience level.

Key Specifications
  • X-Y scan range (typical): 90 μm x 90 μm, Z-range (typical): 15 μm
  • Sample size/holder: 210mm vacuum chuck for samples, ≤210mm diameter, ≤15mm thick (thicker sample size is possible via customisation, please discuss with equipment manager)
  • NanoScope 6 controller
AFM Operation modes
  • Scanasyst
  • PeakForce Tapping (PF Tapping)
  • Tapping mode
  • Contact mode
  • Conductive AFM (CAFM, TUNA)
  • Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM)
  • Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM)
  • Electric Force Microscopy (EFM)
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
  • Force Spectroscopy
  • Quantitative NanoMechanical (QNM) Property Mapping
Application modules
  • PeakForce TUNA, *DCube-TUNA
  • PeakForce KPFM
  • PeakForce QNM
  • *DCube-PFM, DCube-Contact Resonance-PFM

*DCUBE- Datacube mode allows capturing of either nanoelectrical OR piezoelectrical spectra together with nanomechanical spectra at every pixel based on FastForce Volume.

User Manual

Approach equipment manager for link to download the manual.