Materials Research and Analysis Platform (PRAM)

Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec
What the facility does

Laboratory characterization of various solid materials, including nanometric powders, catalysts, mine tailings, rocks, ceramics, rubbers, plastics and thermoplastics.

Areas of expertise

The Materials Research and Analysis Platform (PRAM) has over 20 cutting-edge scientific devices and brings together a number of professionals (chemists, biologists, physicians). We have been involved in research work with university professor-researchers and research centres for close to 20 years, and also provide services to businesses. The platform offers its partners and clients access to ultraspecialized techniques for microstructural, thermal and chemical analyses, and enables everyone to benefit from the support of a multidisciplinary team of professionals in different areas of materials research, analysis and characterization. To name just a few of our skills, we can note X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), which, with a delay-line detector (DLD), enables the identification of the chemical composition of materials surfaces; and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, which, by using a reaction chamber coupled with a high-resolution detector, enables the monitoring of crystalline states changes of a compound under controlled atmosphere and temperature. The platform is also equipped with software for Rietveld analyses.

Research services

Laboratory analysis services using a variety of scientific equipment, including thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray microtomography (microCT), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electronic microscopy (TEM), surface chemical characterization (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy ‒ XPS), Brunauer-Emmet-Teller (BET) surface porosimetry, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and many more.

Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Automotive
  • Chemical industries
  • Clean technology
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Consumer durables
  • Consumer non-durables
  • Defence and security industries
  • Education
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Mining, minerals and metals



SC632, TCH600 and TruSpec Micro

Quantification of copper, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur and oxygen (CHNS/O)

Hydro 2000S laser particle size analyzer

Analysis of particle size dispersion

ASAP 2020 physisorption analyzer

Brunauer-Emmet-Teller (BET) surface analysis, size distribution and pore volume

Photoelectron spectrometer (XPS)

Surface chemical characterization (nano depth)

Secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS)

Surface elemental composition

X-ray micro-scanner

2D and 3D X-ray imaging

Powder diffractometer (XRD) with in situ chamber (900°)

Identification and quantification of crystalline phases

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer

Identification and quantification of chemical elements

Laser flash analyzer

Measurement of materials’ thermal diffusivity

Thermal analyzers: thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermomechanical analysis (TMA), differential thermal analysis (DTA), mass spectrometry (MS)

Measurement of physical and chemical changes

Variable pressure scanning electron microscope (VPSEM)


High-resolution scanning electron microscope (HRSEM)

Powerful magnification imaging

Energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) unit linked to the HRSEM

Identification and quantification of chemical elements

Transmission electron microscope (TEM)

Imaging with ultra-fine cold cuts

Chemisorb 2750

Measure of active sites quantity at the surface sample