The field of Nanotechnology encompasses applications in the research and development of matter at the molecular, macromolecular, or atomic scale – with dimensions in the order of 1-100 nanometers. At this scale materials exhibit different quantum mechanical properties from macro-scale materials, supporting advancements towards what were previously theoretical defined phenomena such as quantum entanglement. Applications include;
- Atomic level engineering of products such as zero-emission vehicles;
- Micro-fabrication of complex yet miniature electrical circuits and mechanical equipment;
- Nano-medicine, where nanotechnology may be applied to improve diagnostics, drug delivery systems, and materials development for skin grafts and improved prosthetics.
These advancements are based on unique structures with novel characteristics – each requiring robust testing and analysis to ensure they are suitable for eventual application in their field. Pharmaceutical or medicinal nanotechnology, for example, must be assessed to determine a material’s potential toxicity in vivo.
Similarly, magnetic drug development – a branch of nano-medicine research that focuses on conjugating drugs with metallic particles and providing controlled targeting via magnetic devices – requires significant study and materials research.
Our mass spectrometers for nanotechnology applications are designed specifically for:
- Depth profiling of thin film structures;
- Plasma characterization in device micro-fabrication;
- Desorption analysis in ultra-high vacuum (UHV) chambers.
These analyses are provided for by an extensive product range from Hiden Analytical, including the SIMS workstation. This UHV quadrupole mass spectrometer based system can perform depth profiling of thin film structures with nanometer dimensions, and characterize the surface composition of various nano-materials. It has been used to assess the efficiency of semiconductor materials for organic photo-voltaics (OPVs) to improve the functionality of solar cells and other thin film structures.
Hiden Analytical has expertise in the design and manufacture of mass spectrometry equipment for multiple sectors and disciplines. Over the last 35 years, we have established a reputation for supplying high-quality quadrupole mass spectrometers for nanotechnology research and development. Alongside the SIMS workstation, our product catalog includes:
- TPD Workstation for temperature programmed desorption at UHV and temperatures from ambient to 1000oC
- XBS for deposition rate control in molecular beam epitaxy – with deposition rates down to 0.01Angstrom per second
- HPR-60 MBMS for analysis of reaction kinetics including analysis of short-lived radical species, positive and negative ions from plasma and combustion processes.
- FIB-SIMS for analysis of surfaces with spatial resolution of focused ion beam electron microscopy.