Capabilities and facilities

The Centre hosts Australia's most comprehensive surface science capability, featuring a range of custom built ultrahigh vacuum instrumentation, synchrotron end stations, and modern surface analytical instrumentation. Contemporary surface analytical techniques allow the elemental composition, chemistry and molecular structure of the outermost layers of solid surfaces to be determined.

Surface analysis

Surfaces play a key role in the manufacture and processing of many products. Surface analysis can be used to examine materials including metals, polymers, biomaterials, textiles, semiconductors, ceramics and glass. It can also identify changes in composition with time, spatial location and depth.

Surface analysis is an essential practical tool for the research laboratory and for the improvement of manufacturing technologies, enhanced quality control and R&D tasks.

There are many applications of surface science that can benefit your organisation.


Additional capabilities and resources


  • Sonication processing (QSonica single and multiple probe systems; microwell plate treatment)
  • Plasma deposition and surface treatment (Diener)
  • Electrodeposition and electrochemistry systems (EG&G and Autolab potentiostats, Solatron frequency response analyser)


  • optical contact angle analysis (DataPhysics OCA20)
  • precision stereo optical microscopy (Olympus SZX16)

Sample preparation

  • pellet press (Specac 15t)
  • sample cutting and polishing (Struers Accutom-100, Tegramin-30)
  • precision sample preparation (Leica EM TXP Target Surfacing)
  • sample coating – conductive (Leica EM ACE600)
  • sample polishing (Struers)
  • furnaces (to 1200 C)