Applications Overview

Analytical Services on Demand

The successful application of one or more analysis technique(s) to a need for information requires significant knowledge of the material or product being analyzed, and the capabilities of analytical instruments available to measure the material or product.

An in-depth discussion between the customer and the scientist collecting the data affects the choice of instruments and the experiments used to collect the data.  To review a list of variables that may be considered, please review “Client-Analyst Discussion“.

Problems or features of interest are found by various means:

    • By the naked eye, if they are >100µ in size (spots, color, peeling, residues, cracks…)
    • By performing various performance tests (electrical, optical, physical, bonding…)
    • By viewing the product through an optical microscope, SEM  (smaller spots…)
    • By viewing the product through a 2D or 3D X-ray imaging system (internal defects)
    • By parallel lapping, acid/base etching, or milling into the surface using FIB-SEM

Analytical Services from Nanolab Technologies


Even though we can often image or see features, once the sample is inside the instrument, it may be difficult to locate the feature of interest due to the design of the instrument being used.

It is important to photograph the feature/problem and to make a mark near the feature using: marker pen, diamond scribe, laser marks…  These marks make it easier to locate the feature/problem once it is inside an instrument that uses ultra-high vacuum (UHV) that uses either an optical zoom camera or an electron beam to image the features.

Be careful not to touch the area of interest with a glove, a finger, a cotton swab…, as that may mask the feature.

Analytical Services by Nanolab

The size of the feature, the depth of the feature, the amount of the feature, the visibility of the feature, the size of the sample and the capabilities of each analytical technique are key factors that define which analytical tool(s) is best suited for the analysis need.

The table below “Routine Problems / Analysis Needs vs Analysis Tools Routinely Applied” is the result of many years of experience using various tools to try to analyze various problems or features.  This table should be used as a guide to selecting one or more tools to analyze the problem or the feature of interest.

The 2nd chart “Feature-Problem-Analysis-Tools” shown at the bottom is another way of deciding which tool to apply to a particular feature or problem.

Routine Problems / Analysis Needs



Visual Guide To Selecting Tools for Chemical Analysis


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As a token of our appreciation to 1st time customers, we will give you a Starbucks card when you visit our building to drop off a sample for analysis.  Be sure to mention this note to our sales people.  Thanks!