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Research Unit for Nanostructured Materials Systems (RUNMS)
Hosting Legal Entity
Cyprus University of Technology
30 Arch. Kyprianos Str., CYPRUS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, Limassol, PO: 3036 (Cyprus)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 2010
Scientific Description
The Research Unit for Nanostructured Materials Systems is a new formation which aspires in developing into a Centre of Excellence for Materials Research. It is co-funded by the European Union and the Republic of Cyprus through the Structural Funds and Research Promotion Foundation respectively. It started its operation in 1st of November 2010 and in a period of four years it plans to develop the necessary infrastructure and expertise to tackle materials-related problems pertinent to the economically important local industries. In doing so, we plan on developing three pillars of operation in which materials will be (a) simulated computationaly, (b) synthesized with microstructural accuracy, and (c) characetrized nanoscopically for control and optimization. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the efforts in making Cyprus technologically competitive in the field of Advanced Materials on a European and international level.

RI Keywords
Materials research, Nanostructures, Nanoscale Characterization, Material growth, Materials synthesis, Material characterisation, Computational science, Nanostructured Materials
RI Category
Materials Synthesis or Testing Facilities
Analytical Facilities
Centralised Computing Facilities
Scientific Domain
Chemistry and Material Sciences
Characterization Lab

This lab is dedicated to the characterization of matter, with emphasis at small scales. The types of characterization include structural, physical, optical, magnetical and mechanical. 1) MICROSTRUCTURAL: • XRR/XRD - The diffractometer of the Unit is a Rigaku Ultima IV with a 285mm radius goniometer operating in θ/θ mode. The system has a 3kW X-ray generator with a Cu tube. The system is equipped with various sample stages and optics. Cross Beam Optics (CBO) allows the easy change of the beam configuration, from focused to parallel. Additionally a 2 bounce Ge monochromator can be used for high resolution measurements. There are two available detectors one scintillator and a 1D silicon strip detector. With the eurelean cradle stage users can perform powder diffraction measurements (XRD), Grazing Incidence (GIXRD), pole figures, stress measurements, reciprocal space mapping and X-ray reflectivity XRR (also in HR) among others. An additional XYZ stage is also available for micro XRD measurements. • AFM/SPM - RUNMS is equipped with a multifunction Scanning Probe Microscope/Atomic Force Microscope (NTEGRA Prima, NT-MDT), for scanning and measuring surface properties of materials with nanoscopic resolutions. The unit is equipped with a Hybrid (HD) mode electronic controller for force control and quantification of mechanical properties of soft and hard materials. The following modes of scanning are available: Topography (Contact Mode, Tapping Mode), Lateral Force Microscopy, Spreading Resistance Imaging, Piezoresponse Force Microscopy, Force Modulation, Force Spectroscopy, Nanoindentation, Magnetic Force Microscopy, Kelvin Probe Microscopy, Electric Force Microscopy, NanoLithography. Tests can be performed in the -35°C to 250°C range, in air or liquid. 2) OPTICAL: • uv/vis Spectrometer - A UV/VIS system (Thetametrisis) designed to cover all measurement needs for Film Characterization (thickness, optical properties). The system has a spectral operation range of 250 – 850 nm achieved by the use of combined Deuterium – Halogen light source, and functions in two modes: Reflectance and Transmittance. The FR-Basic tool is supplied with FR-Monitor software that obtains and manages the data, provides mathematical tools (fitting) and calculates the Absorbance properties of the sample. • Solar Simulator - A solar simulator enables the study of solar systems in a controlled environment. A rectangular arrangement of 20 bulbs (575 W each) is used to simulate the solar spectrum with a maximum of 1200 W/m2. The simulator has an adjustable height and inclination (0-90 degrees) and with an independent control over each bulb. 3) MECHANICAL: • Nanoindenter - With instrumented indentation the mechanical measurements of materials can be probed down to nanometer scale. In this platform (NanoTest, Micro Materials, Wrexham, UK), a diamond indenter penetrates into the surface of the interested material. Through the applied force of indenter and the resulting penetration depth, the mechanical response of materials can be evaluated Depending on the configuration (micro or nano indentation), a range of mechanical tests can be performed in air, liquid or high temperature environments (up to 500°C): normal indentation (hardness, elastic modulus, creep), scratch and wear (tribological performance), impact and fatigue (fracture process), fretting.

Synthesis Lab

This lab is dedicated to the development and growth of nanostructured films with significant engineering applications including hard coatings, solid lubricants, wear-resistant layers for environmental protection, new coatings for solar energy applications, biocompatible coatings for implant and other applications. • Hybrid Deposition System: The hybrid deposition system is a high vacuum platform used for thin film deposition. The thin film growth can be done using two main components of the system; the ion source and the nanoparticle source. The ion source is a plasma assisted process that produces and accelerates energetic ions generated from a source gas cracking (Ar, CH4 etc.) and finally they are accelerated on the substrate to be deposited. On the other hand, the nanoparticle source can produces controlled size of nanoparticles in the range of 1-20 nm, which can be generated from any metal as well as from many compound materials (oxides, nitrides, carbides etc.) and alloys. Finally, the two sources are mounted on two confocal ports for co-deposition process. • Thermal CVD: A thermal CVD system from Planartech and VG Scienta is designed to support both carbon nanotubes (CNT) and graphene growth. Additionally the system can be used for many other tasks such as heat treatment under various environments, annealing of nanostructured samples and transformation of preceramic polymers to ceramics. It is a horizontal quartz (2´) hot-wall reactor system with LabVIEW/PC controls. The system supports deposition in manual and automatic mode with user defined recipes. The long 3 zone furnace with independent zone controls allows the processing of many samples simultaneously in different temperature conditions.

Computational Lab

The Unit is equipped with a powerful cluster that enables the computational modeling and design of advanced innovative materials for applied science and engineering applications using a multi-scale methodological approach spanning the entire spectrum from the atomistic to the macroscopic level.

Date of last update: 31/07/2019
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