Facilities Available

Central facility usage form

Structural characterisation

Optical microscope


Plan Achromatic objective lenses: 2.5x/5x/10x/20x/50x/100x Phase contrast objectives are 10x and 20x Eye piece: 10x Filters: Blue/Green/Yellow CCD: TWAINE CAMERA IMAGE ACQUISITION Halogen Bulb: HAL100: 12V, 100W and Bio-imaging using Fluorescence (HBO) attachments with 63x oil immersion objective MODES OF OPERATION: BF/DF/TRANSMISSION /TIC/DIC SLIDES

Olympus (UPRIGHT): BH-2

Objective lenses: 5x, 10x, 20x, 50x, 100x, CCD camera HAL100: 12V, 100W MODES OF OPERATION: BF/DF/TRANSMISSION /POLARISATION

Omni: Metagraph-1 (INVERTED)

Plan Achromatic objective lenses: 2.5x/5x/10x/20x/50x/100x
Eye piece: 10x, 16x/20x
Filters: Blue/Green/Yellow
Halogen Bulb: 6V, 12W
Stage opening diameter: 12mm/25mm
Modes of operation: BF/DF

Polishing and Etching:

Sturers dual disc grinding and polishing carried out using SiC emery sheets between 200 and 2500 grit then moved to Metatech single and double wheel variable speed for final diamond paste 0.25-1 µm polishing. Automatic polishing machine with 4 pole is also available. Ultrasonic cleaning is carried out and etchants are prepared in a Fume hood.

Abrasive wheel cutting machine and Diamond wheel cutting machine. Hot compaction facility for sample mounting using Bakelite powder.

Booking Details

Booking is not required for the department users. After working hours and holidays users should sign the register in the department office to collect the keys (must be returned after use) and outside users must take prior permission.

Faculty in-charge

Prof. Subodh Kumar (skumar@iisc.ac.in)
Prof. S.Karthikeyan (karthik@iisc.ac.in)
Dr. P.Padaikathan (padai@iisc.ac.in)

Scanning electron microscope

ESEM Quanta 200, FEI

W-Filament, low vacuum and humidity capability, Secondary E-T and Solid state backscattered electron detector, Ultra thin window EDS System (EDAX), Resolution at 20 kV:3nm in high vacuum.

Online Booking

Electron Probe Micro Analyzer

The JXA-8530F Electron Probe Micro Analyzer is a thermal field emission electron probe micro analyzer combining high SEM resolution with high quality composition analysis of submicron areas. The JEOL JXA-8530F instrument is equipped with 6 WDS detectors (3 for heavy elements and 3 for light elements) and an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS). This combination can simultaneously analyse 3 elements WDS + 16 elements EDS plus collect image signals from backscatter and secondary electron detectors.

  • High detection sensitivity for trace elements
  • High accuracy of quantitative analysis
  • High resolving power for adjacent X-ray spectra
  • High accuracy of light elements analysis


  • Detectable element range : 4Be to 92U Detectable X-ray range:
  • Detectable wavelength range with WDS: 0.087 to 9.3 nm
  • Detectable energy range with EDS : 20 kev
  • Number of Spectrometers: 6 WDS detectors, 1 EDS
  • Acc.Voltage: 1 to 30 kV (0.1 kV steps)
  • Scanning Magnification: X 40 to 300.000 (W.D.11mm)
  • Probe current: 1×10-12 to 5×10-7 A
  • Probe Current stability: +(-)0.3%/h
  • Secondary electron image resolution (SEI): 3.0 nm (WD11mm, 30 kV)
  • Backscattered electron image (BEI) : Topo and composition image

Minimum Probe Size

  • 40nm (10 kV, 1X 10-8 A)
  • 100nm (10 kV, 1X 10-7 A)

Specimen size:

  • 32 mm dia. X 25 mmH
  • 36 mm dia. X 20 mmH X 4 pcs
  • 25.5 mm dia X 20 mmH X 9 pcs

Booking details:

Faculty In-charge

Prof. Satyam Suwas (satyamsuwas@iisc.ac.in)
Dr. Subho Dasgupta (dasgupta@iisc.ac.in)
Dr. R.Ravi (rravi@iisc.ac.in)

Atomic Force Microscope


  • Scan head: Maximum scan range: 70micron
  • Drive resolution Z: 0.21 nm and XY: 1.0 nm (based on 16 bits)
  • Auto approach: 5mm, Maximum approach speed: 0.1mm/s
  • Cantilevers: CONTR/NCLR (FREQUENCY: 15-300 kHz)
  • Imaging Modes: Phase contrast, Force Modulation, Spreading Resistance

Scanning Tunneling Microscope


  • Scan head: Maximum scan range: 1.0micron
  • Maximum Z-range: 200 nm
  • Drive Resolution Z: 3 pm and XY: 15 pm
  • Tip-sample approach: Stick-slip piezo motor
  • Tip: Pt/ Ir wire: 0.25 mm
  • Sample size: Max. 10 mm diameter
  • Calibrated using: HOPG

Faculty In-charge

Prof. Ashok M. Raichur (amr@iisc.ac.in)

X-ray Diffraction Laboratory

XPERTPro, PANalytical JDX-8030, JEOL

(1) X-Pert PRO, PANalytical

Fixed tube, Cu target, secondary graphite monochromator, flat plate horizontal sample holder, X-Celerator* for faster data acquisition, X-Pert Hi-Score plus software pattern analysis and phase identification (ICDD data base).
*Usage of X-Celerator reduces the data acquisition time by ˜1/4th.

(2) JDX-8030, JEOL

Fixed tube, Cu and Fe-targets, horizontal flat plate sample holder.
Sample and quantity:
Most preferably powder, Otherwise any sample with flat surface. The powder/ bulk sample should cover ~ 15 mm x ~15 mm x ~1 mm space of the standard sample holder.

Faculty In-charge:

Prof. Rajeev Ranjan (rajeev@iisc.ac.in)
Prof. Satyam Suwas (satyamsuwas@iisc.ac.in)
Dr. G.S.Avadhani (gsa@iisc.ac.in)

(3) X-radiography

Stenoscop 9000 is a mobile medical X-ray unit equipped with a C-arm, on which an image intensifier and X-ray source are mounted. The X-ray system enables operation in one of several modes: standard radiography, high-resolution fluoroscopy, pulsed fluoroscopy, and standard fluoroscopy. Up to 50 min of continuous X-ray emission in the fluoroscopy mode allowed collection of the high-quality, distortion-free images. Voltage range is from 40 to 110 kV and current range is from 0.1 to 6 mA. The unit has dual focus.

Faculty In-charge

Prof. Govind S. Gupta (govindg@iisc.ac.in)

Atomic Force Microscope


  • Scan head: Maximum scan range: 70micron
  • Drive resolution Z: 0.21 nm and XY: 1.0 nm (based on 16 bits)
  • Auto approach: 5mm, Maximum approach speed: 0.1mm/s
  • Cantilevers: CONTR/NCLR (FREQUENCY: 15-300 kHz)
  • Imaging Modes: Phase contrast, Force Modulation, Spreading Resistance

Thermal analysis

Online booking


Online booking system

1. The METTLER-TOLEDO Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC 822 e ) with S TA R e software measures the difference between the heat flows from the sample and reference sides of a sensor as a function of temperature or time. Differences in heat flow arise when a sample absorbs or releases heat due to thermal effects such as melting, crystallization, chemical reactions, polymorphic transitions.


  • Sample mass/volume: minimum of 0.5 -20mg/up to 150ul
  • Temp range: Between -150°C and +70°C
  • Cooling option: Liquid Nitrogen (pressurized to 20-30psi)
  • Heating rate: 2—50 K/min
  • Cooling rate: from 500°C to 100°C in 8min
  • Resolution: 0.4µW

Soon DSC will be upgraded with...

Temperature-modulated DSC techniques (TMDSC) are widely used in thermal analysis to separate overlapping temperature-dependent and time-dependent thermal effects. Methods used up until now have overlaid the isothermal temperature or heating ramp with a (usually) sinusoidal temperature modulation of just one frequency (single frequency method).

Auto-Sampler Robot (for 32 No. of tests) and a LN 2 – Dewar capacity 240litre

2. The NETZSCH STA 409 runs under PROTEUS Software for simultaneous TG-DSC or simultaneous TG-DTA measurements. The TG sample carriers exchanged with TG-DSC or TG-DTA modes operation with top-loaded samples ensure total protection of the balance, which is on the bottom and through accurate flow of the purge and protective gases


  • Temperature range: 25°C to 1600°C (SiC: HEATING ELEMENT)
  • Heating and cooling rates: 5 K/min to 50 K/min
  • Weighing range: 200 mg

TG resolution: up to 0.002mg

DSC resolution < 1 µW

Atmospheres: inert, oxidizing, reducing, static, dynamic

TG features:

  • Mass changes in wt% or mg
  • Automatic evaluation of mass-change steps
  • Calculation of mass/temperature values
  • Calculation of residual mass
  • Extrapolated onset and end temperatures
  • Peak temperatures of the 1st and 2nd derivative of the mass-change curve
  • Automatic baseline

DSC/DTA features:

  • Determination of onset, peak, inflection and end temperatures
  • Automatic peak search
  • Analysis of peak areas (enthalpies) with selectable baseline
  • Enthalpy determination allowing for mass changes
  • Comprehensive analysis of glass transitions


Content coming soon.

Faculty In-charge

Prof. Ashok M. Raichur (amr@iisc.ac.in)
Prof. Praveen Ramamurthy (praveen@iisc.ac.in)
Dr. P.Padaikathan (padai@iisc.ac.in)
Mr R.J. Deshpande (rjd@iisc.ac.in)

Mechanical testing

Dynamic Mechanical Analyser

Model EPLEXOR 500 N
Load Capacity Force Range (Statical) 500 N Provision to use 1500 N transducer
Dynamic Strain* ± 1µm to ±1.5mm
Statical Strain Upto 35 mm
Frequency Range 0.01 to 100 Hz
tan ä 0.0001 – 100
Temperature Range -150°C to 500°C (Furnace 1)
Ambient to 1000°C (Furnace 2)
Available Clamping Devices Compression, Tensile and 3 point bending – symmetric and asymmetric
Sample Dimensions For compressive loads – Material Dependent
For tensile and 3 point bending – Thickness: 2mm, Width: 5mm and Length: 45 mm
Materials that can be tested Metals
Bulk metallic glasses

*Maximum strain depends on the sample, clamping device and frequency

Depth Sensing Indentation

Hysitron Nano Indentor (located in Department of Mechanical Engineering

Model TI 900-Tribo Indentor
Load Capacity Low load: 5 microN-10 mN
High load: 10mN - 1N
Load resolution 1nN
Displacement resolution 0.04nm
Maximum Displacement capacity: 2-3 microns
Modes of operation Quasistatic Nano Indentation
Nano Scratch
SPM In-situ Imaging
Nano DMA
High Temperature stage( upto 400°C)
CSM instrumented microindentation system
Room temperature Diamond indenter (Vickers, spherical, Knoop)
High temperature(450°C) Zircon (Vickers, Spherical)
Maximum load 30 N
Load resolution 100 micro N
Depth resolution 0.3 nm

Thin Film Residual Stress

Model KLA Tencor FLX 2320

Measures curvature of plates and beams using laser. Heating stage upto 500°C in ambient atmospheres or under inert gas shrouding.
Liquid nitrogen can circulated to reach temperatures down to 0°C.
Dual beam enables stresses measurements for transparent coatings as well.

Procedure Measure the curvature of substrate before and after the deposition and, knowing the substrate and film thickness and substrate elastic modulus, use Stoney’s equation to find the stress.
Statical Strain Maximum size is 8 inches wafer. Plates, disks, beams with longest measurable length less than 8 inches dia. can also be used.

Mechanical Testing Lab

Brochure of mechanical testing facilities

Faculty In-charge

Prof. Satyam Suwas (satyamsuwas@iisc.ac.in)
Dr. G.S. Avadhani (gsa@iisc.ac.in)
Prof. Praveen Kumar (praveenk@iisc.ac.in)

Materials Processing

Solid state processing
Content coming soon.

Liquid state processing
Content coming soon.

Particle characterization

Particle Size Analyzer
Machine Model Mastersizer
Make Malvern Instruments
Size range 0.05 to 900 µm
Machine Model Zetasizer Nanoseries-ZEN 3690
Make Malvern Instruments
Particle Size range 1nm to 3µm
Size range for zeta potential 5nm to 10 µm
Automatic Micropore Physisorption Analyzer
(Determining surface area and pore size distribution from 3.5 to 5000 Angstroms)
Make and model Micromeritics ASAP 2020
Analysis Gases N2, Ar, CO2, O2, Kr, CO, Butane or any non-corrosive gas
Analytical Techniques

Single-point BET surface area, Multi-point BET surface area, Adsorption isotherm, Desorption isotherms, Langmuir surface area, BJH Mesopore volume, BJH Mesopore area, Total pore volume, deBoer t-Plot & others, MP-Method, Micropore Volume, Micropore Surface Area, Micropore Size Distribution, a s Plot, f-Ratio plot, Heat of adsorption, Freundlich & Temkin, Density Functional Theory, Reference isotherms, Horvath-Kawazoe, Dubinin-Radushkevich, Dubinin-Astakhov and Graph Overlays

Operating Specifications Surface Area Range 0.0005 m 2 /g and up
Pore Diameter Range : 3.5 – 5000 Angstroms
Micropore Volume: Detectable within 0.0001 cc/g
Pressure Measurement Resolution: 0 to 1 mmHg
Transducer 0.000001 mmHg0 to 10 mmHg
Transducer: 0.00001 mmHg0 to 1000 mmHg
Transducer: 0.001 mmHg
Typical Relative Pressures: N2 / Liquid N2 : 10-7 Ar / Liquid Ar: 10-7 CO2 at 25 o C: 10-9

Faculty In-charge

Mr. R.J.Despande (rjd@iisc.ac.in)

Chemical Analysis

ICP Spectrometer
Model JY 24
Make Jobin-Yvon, France, Sequential ICP Analyzer
Elements analyzed can analyze ~ 72 elements in the periodic table including those such as boron, silicon etc.,
Monochromator HR 640 monochromator incorporating a holographic grating with 2400 grooves/mm with a linear dispersion of 0.6nm/mm
Instrument Resolution 0.010 nm
Sample intake About 1 ml/min Min
Detection Limits Varies according to the element.
Can be as low as 0.07 ppb for Mg to 20ppb for some of the rare earth elements
Atomic Absorption Spectrometer
Model Series AA Spectrometer
Make Thermo Electron Corporation
Elements analyzed Common elements including base metals and alkaline earth metals
Range upto 5ppm
Sensitivity ~ 0.05ppm
High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) from Waters (Identification, estimation and purification of macromolecules/oligomers/polymers)
Pump Model 515
Column Sunfire (TM) Reversed-phase HPLC column C18, 5 µ m (4.6 x 250 mm column),
Operating range – pH: 2-8, columns stable upto 6000 psi.
Best for purification and impurity profile assays, (Solvents-Acetonitrile)
Detectors Waters 2414 (RI Detector),
Waters 2489 (UV/Vis Detector)
Size exclusion chromatography (GPC/SEC) from Waters (For macromolecules/polymers molecular weight distribution analysis)
Pump Model 515
Column Styragel HT 6E THF (7.8 x 300 mm),
measuring MW range from 5000-107.
Equipped with Waters temperature control module II,
working range from ambient to high temperature (140°C) analysis (Solvents-TCB, THF).
Detectors Waters 2414 (RI Detector).

Faculty in-charge

Prof. A.M.Raichur (amr@iisc.ac.in)
Prof. P.C.Ramamurthy (praveen@iisc.ac.in)
Dr. P.Padaikathan (padai@iisc.ac.in)
Mr R.J.Deshpande (rjd@iisc.ac.in)

Electrical behaviour

Content coming soon.

Heat treatment

Hot air ovens

  • 200 deg. C – 3 racks
  • 250 deg. C – 3 racks

Tube furnaces

  • Two small tube furnaces- 80 mm dia – 1050 deg. C
  • One tube furnace – 50 mm dia-1300 deg C
  • One tube furnace – 100 mm dia 1700 deg. C

Box furnaces

  • One box furnace – chamber size 6″x1.5′- 1100 deg. C
  • One box furnace- chamber size 6″x1″- 1350 deg C
  • One box furnace – chamber size 6″x6″ – 1700 deg. C

For temperature precision to better than 5 deg. C, you need to take additional steps for calibration. If you want to heat below 300 deg.C, you can find first the difference between the actual and set temperatures by using a thermometer, which can go up to 250 deg. C. These thermometers are available in stores or local companies. Relatively high temperature furnaces should be calibrated with the help of melting point of gold (ask any PhD students in Prof. Aloke Paul’s lab for help). Note that this procedure is relatively more reliable than other methods.

For reliable results, perform your own calibration, especially after changing the tube or thermocouple. For one set of experiments use the same furnace to minimise errors. It is very difficult to calibrate 1700 deg. C furnace running in air. However, we have seen that above 1500 deg. C, furnaces are reliable even without any additional calibration.


The department has several computing clusters available, with contributions from the groups of Prof. T. A. Abinandanan, Prof. S. Karthikeyan, Prof. Abhik Choudhury, and Prof. Sai Gautam Gopalakrishnan. All computing clusters are located in a centralised facility in the E-wing of the department.