Microscopy: Polymer Characterization Service

Áreas de investigación
  • Physical Sciences

Service contact Phone: 943 01 84 98 e-mail: cpolimeros.sgiker@ehu.es Service technician Dra. Ana Martinez Amesti Phone: 943 01 84 98 e-mail:ana.martinez@ehu.es

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Protocolo de acceso

Access to the Microscopy: Polymer Characterization Service involves meeting the requirements set forth in the Protocol for access to SGIker and the services it provides. Check website for further details.


The Microscopy: Polymer Characterization Service forms part of the Advanced Research Facilities (SGIker) of the University of the Basque Country, and came into being as a result of the major boom there has been in polymer materials over the last few decades. . Material Science applied in the field of polymers currently focuses on the relationships existing between obtaining processes, present structures and final properties of polymer materials. An exhaustive characterization of the polymer material to be studied is necessary in order to be able to find these relationships. Microscopy is one of the most-used technques at present, and one of those that produces the best results when carrying out a morphological, surface, structural and, in the case of dispersions, colloidal characterization of polymers. To this end, the aim of this Service is to provide the equipment, technical assistance and specialist training required to characterize the materials via microscopy. The main facilities available involve the morphological study of multi-component polymer materials and semi-crystalline polymers, and determining particle sizes of colloidal scattering. However, owing to major advances in the field of analytical microscopy in recent years, it is also possible to carry out both qualitative and quantitative analyses of the different compounds that make up the phases of a multi-component material. In addition to all these facilities, the Service is willing to adapt to any new needs that may be related to the study of polymer materials. The Service possesses instruments that includes a transmission electron microscope and the instruments required to prepare samples: an ultramicrotome and a cryoultramicrotome.


The main services consist of the morphological study of the multi-component polymer materials and semicrystalline polymers, and to determine the colloidal dispersion particle size. Due to the great progress in the field of analytical microscopy in recent year, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the different components that make up the phases of a multicomponent material is also possible. Moreover this Service adapts to new needs related to the study of new polymeric materials.


Basque country university UPV/EHU, floor -1. Joxe Mari Korta Center Avda. Tolosa, 72 20018 Donostia-San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa)


200kV transmission electron microscopy and high resolution TECNAI G2 20 TWIN. Equipped with LaB6 filament, digital image system and ±70° tilt. Includes: - STEM unit with light field/dark field detector. - X-ray microanalysis unit (EDX), made by EDAX. - Low dosis exposure technique. - Cryomicroscopy. Single-tilt cooling sample holder (±70°)(Gatan 626 DH model) with temperature control up to liquid nitrogen (Gatan 900 model). - Beryllium double-tilt sample holder. - Single-tilt sample holder. - Ultramicrotome used to cut hard polymeric materials with a Tg over ambient temperature. - Cryo-chamber that is adjusted to the ultramicrotome to obtain low temperature cutting, indicated for soft - Tg materials under ambient temperature. - Vitrobot Mark IV to prepare samples in solution to be measured by cryomiscroscopy.
Ultramicrotome with which cuts are obtained for hard polymer materials with a Tg higher than room temperature.
Cryo camera which is adjusted to the ultramicrotome in order to obtain low temperature cuts, indicated for soft materials with a Tg lower than room temperature.
Vitrobot Mark IV for the preparation of samples in solution for their subsequent measurement by cryomicroscopy
Vitrobot Mark IV