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.


X-ray science

La Trobe's X-ray science group conduct in-depth research into a number of specialised areas to develop novel imaging and X-ray based characterisation techniques.


Australian Synchrotron 

Through La Trobe's synchrotron program, CMSS members, students and clients have priority access to the Australian Synchrotron.

Additional capabilities and resources


  • 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)

Sample preparation

  • pellet press (Specac 15t)
  • annular saw (Microslice)
  • sample polishing (Struers)
  • furnaces (to 1200 C)