Nanomaterial Characterizations Facility - Nanotechnology Research Centre

National Research Council Canada, Edmonton, Alberta
What the facility does

Enables the comprehensive characterization of nanomaterials and nanosystems

Areas of expertise

The Nanomaterial Characterizations Facility includes a comprehensive suite of modern instrumentation for the characterization of nanomaterials, nanocomposites, nanodevices and other related systems. Such characterizations include scanning electron microscopy for morphological and compositional analysis of nanostructured surfaces and particles; X-ray diffraction and scattering for crystal structure and nanoparticle size analysis; optical spectroscopy for compositional, microstructural, and photophysical properties; and thermal-mechanical characterizations for nanocomposite analysis.

Research services

Self-serve or fee-for-service access to unique nanomaterial characterization equipment and facilities; collaborative research agreements

Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Automotive
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Defence and security industries
  • Energy
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing



Hitatchi S-4800 FE-SEM (Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope)

Workhorse microscope for routine surface and morphological characterization at the nanoscale

Hitachi S-3000N Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope

Scanning Electron Microscope with elevated pressure capabilities for charge dissipation and investigation of environmental effects

Bruker D8 Discover X-ray diffractometer

For routine and advanced X-ray diffraction characterizations, such as crystal structure, composition, etc.

Bruker AXS NANOSTAR small angle X-ray scattering analyzer (SAXS)

For analysis of nanoparticle sizes in the 1 nm to 125 nm range by scattered X-ray analysis

PerkinElmer LAMBDA 1050 UV-Vis-NIR (Ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared) spectrophotometer

Transmission/reflection spectroscopy from 175 nm to 2,500 nm with 150 mm integrating sphere capabilities

Thermo Scientific DXR2 Raman microscope

For chemical analysis and mapping using inelastic light scattering

Agilent Cary 670 FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy) microscope

For chemical analysis and mapping using infrared light absorbance

Photon Technology International QuantaMaster 40 (PTI QM-40) UV/VIS Steady State Spectrofluorometer

Scanning excitation/scanning emission fluorescence spectrometer with integrating sphere

Thermo Scientific iCAP 7400 Duo ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer)

For quantitative trace compositional analysis of metal content in materials

Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS

For particle sizing and zeta-potential measurements using optical light scattering

TA Instruments Q50 TGA (Thermogravimetric Analyzer)

Analysis of thermal degradation of materials under air or inert environments at temperatures up to 1,000 oC

TA Instruments Q2000 DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimeter)

For the analysis of heat absorbance in materials

TA Instruments Discovery DHR-3 (Discovery Hybrid Rheometer)

For the characterization of the rheological properties of materials

Instron 5966 Universal mechanical testing system

For measuring the mechanical properties of materials under compression or tension

MOCON OX-TRAN 1/50 OTR (Oxygen Transmission Rate) Analyzer

For measuring the rate of oxygen transmission through semi-permeable films