The Facility develops and applies advanced spectroscopic, force microscopy and other characterisation techniques to the analyses of materials and nanoparticles. It also designs and manufactures microfluidic chips.

Building on expertise in nanotechnology, the University of South Australia has established a microfluidic and nanofabrication facility enabling the design and manufacture of microfluidic devices for Australian researchers and industry.


Products and services

Services are available to industry and academic institutions for product development, quality assurance, research in the areas of biomedical products and devices, materials for biotechnological applications, pharmaceutical delivery, formulation and processing, and manufacturing processes for materials and nanoparticles.

Production of next generation microfluidics devices with further enhanced performance is possible through precise tailoring of surface chemistry inside the channels.


Type Manufacturer Model Technical Specifications
Imaging and Mass Spectrometry
Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) Digital/Bruker Instruments Nanoscope II The instrument has been upgraded with a picoforce scan head (large area standard on II) fluid cell and III version software. Under tapping mode the AFM can resolve features as small as 10nm.
Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) Asylum Research MFP-3D-Bio Top and bottom view optics (CCD camera, inverted microscope) fluorescent lighting, fluid cell. Under tapping mode the AFM can resolve features as small as 10nm.
Micro X-ray Tomography Xradia Micro XCT-400 Maximum sample size is approximately a 50mm cylinder and we would expect a 1/2000 resolution to be possible (eg 2mm diameter sample should give 1µm resolution). Data acquisition can range from 3 to 4 hours up to 120+ hours depending upon the resolution required and material being analysed. Samples are kept at constant temperature, not heated or cooled.Suitable for hard and soft biological tissues, minerals, ceramics, polymers etc.
Nano X-ray Tomography Xradia Ultra XRM-200 Capable of resolving features in true 3 dimensions down to 50nm. Sample size should be 64µm in diameter. Using adsorption or phase contrast for low Z material, data acquisition can range from 8 hours up to 120+ hours depending upon the resolution required and material being analysed.This instrument is the first unit to be installed outside the USA. Typical Applications:

  • Life Science Studies
  • Semiconductor Package Failure Analysis
  • Advanced Material Analysis
  • Oil & Gas Drilling Feasibility Models
Surface Analysis
X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) Kratos Analytical Axis Ultra DLD Dual Al/Mg sources, monochromatic Al source, Ar sputtering source, hot and cold sample stages
Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (nanoToF) Physical Electronics TRIFT V Au, Cs and C60 primary ion sources, Ar sputtering source, hot and cold stages
 Name Description
Imaging and Mass Spectrometry
Surface topography Imaging of surface features with x, y and z axes
3D imaging Submicron resolution at atmospheric pressure.
Nanometre resolution of internal fine structures.
Surface Analysis
Depth profile analysis For organic matrices by C60 primary ion source
Cold stage analysis of biological samples At temperatures down to -150°C for examination of biological samples
Mapping of surface chemistry Qualitative spectra and imaging of elemental and molecular species
Elemental analysis at high temperature Studies of thermal effects on surface chemistry
In-situ fracture analysis Cleaving of solid samples inside the analysis chamber, while under vacuum, to produce a fresh surface


Mr Philip Moore

Facility Manager


University of South Australia
Mawson Lakes Campus
Ian Wark Research Institute
Mawson Lakes Blvd
Mawson Lakes SA 5095