Materials problem

Frequently asked questions

If your question isn't answered by the below FAQs, then please email our unit manager, David Jones.

As each problem is unique and the analysis required to solve them varies, a total cost for your analysis cannot be given until it has been discussed with our unit manager, David Jones.

For those companies that are sponsoring masters students, PhD students or our Engineering Doctorate researchers, discounts are given on the cost of analysis. For significant analysis requiring several days of instrument time a discount may also be applicable.

If you have a particular research problem and would like further information on sponsoring a PhD project contact a member of staff in your area of interest. You can also find further information on becoming a sponsor for our EngD Micro- and NanoMaterials and Technologies course on the MiNMaT website.

You are welcome to visit the unit and discuss your requirements with Dr Mark Whiting in person, see a demonstration of our equipment, or accompany your samples during their analysis. We regularly receive national and international visitors.

Please contact our unit manager David Jones to arrange a visit.

Typically analysis is completed within one to two weeks from when the sample is received.

All samples can be returned should you require.

SEM, EDS,WDS and EBSD are potentially non destructive techniques, however TEM/STEM requires advanced sample preparation resulting in a significant change to the sample.

The minimum detectable concentration of most elements in EDS and WDS varies with the atomic number of the element and the nature of the material it is in.

Our maximum sample size is determined by the size of the vacuum gate valves in our equipment. For EDS and WDS this is 2x2x2 cm. A wide range of sample preparation can be carried out on site to ensure a sample is a suitable size for analysis.

The data that is collected is considered to be your property and is confidential. 

Samples should be placed inside zip lock bags. Samples should also be clearly labelled individually with a number or other reference, they can either be delivered in person or posted to the unit.

Samples can be precision cut, mounted in a range of materials, gold or carbon coated, polished to a sub micron finish suitable for microscopy, EBSD, precision ion polishing and electropolishing.

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University of Surrey