Leeds EPSRC Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research Equipment Facility


PhD student using equipment

The Leeds EPSRC Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Facility (LENNF) is a facility based at the University of Leeds.

This facility aims to provide researchers who are eligible for EPSRC funding with free access to a wide range of state-of-the-art instrumentation and appropriate academic and technical expertise. The facility aims to specialise in both inorganic and hybrid inorganic/organic nanosystems.

Accessible facilities include a synergistic combination of inter-related techniques for both characterisation and structural and device fabrication including:

Scanning probe microscopy

  • Atomic force microscopy facilities
    • Special AFM sample facilities: (i) Colloid probe preparation facilities, (ii) UV/Ozone cleaning facilities, (iii) Wet labs for simple biological and organic sample preparation
    • Veeco Instruments Nanoscope IV Multimode AFM with Temperature control unit (20-50°C)
    • Veeco Instruments Bioscope II with Nanoscope V controller
    • Veeco Instruments Bioscope I with Nanoscope IV controller
    • Veeco Instruments Dimension 3100 Nanoman with Nanoscope IV controller

The Multimode AFM is suitable for high resolution imaging of samples in air, gaseous environments and liquids. The Bioscopes sit on inverted optical microscopes allowing the possibility of simultaneous optical and AFM analysis. The Nanoman AFM is suitable for large samples and lithographic and nanomanipulation experiments.

  • Scanning tunneling microscopy facilities
    • Omicron VT AFM/STM
    • A UHV-based high resolution STM & AFM. It has a liquid Helium flow cryostat allowing measurements to be taken over a temperature range of 10 - 1500 K. Other features include Scanning Tunnelling Spectroscopy, Magnetic Force Microscopy and Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy.

Transmission electron microscopy

  • Philips CM200 FEGTEM Field emission gun TEM/STEM with Supertwin Objective lens, cryoshielding, Oxford Instruments UTW EDX detector running ISIS software and Gatan GIF200 Imaging Filter for EELS/EFTEM. High resolution TEM/STEM for atomic- scale imaging, microanalysis and mapping.
  • FEI Tecnai TF20 FEGTEM Field emission gun TEM/STEM fitted with HAADF detector, Oxford Instruments INCA 350 EDX system/80mm X-Max SDD detector and Gatan Orius SC600A CCD camera.
  • Special TEM sample facilities: (i) 2 double tilt analytical holders, (ii) Tilt/rotate analytical cooling holder, (iii) Bench-mounted ex-situ reaction/heating cell with vacuum transfer facility, (iv) Fischione plasma cleaner, (v) Gatan model 628 single tilt heating holder - up to 1200C, (vi) Nanofactory combined Scanning Tunnelling Microscope (STM) and TEM holder.
  • TEM Sample Preparation: (i) Gatan PIPS low angle ion beam thinner, (ii) Gatan Duomill with sample cooling facility (iii) 2 Dimplers, (iv) Range of Coating units, (v) FEI Nova 200 NanoLab high resolution Field Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscope (FEGSEM) with precise Focused Ion Beam(FIB) - etch and deposition capabilities and In-situ TEM sample preparation, (vi) Jet polishing, (vii) Biological sample preparation including microtomy.

Scanning electron microscopy

  • Carl Zeiss EVO MA15 variable pressure W SEM with Oxford Instruments AZtecEnergy EDX system with 80mm X-Max SDD detector- secondary and backscattered imaging, EDX elemental mapping and linescans plus CZ STEM detector.

Focussed ion beam

  • FEI Nova 200 NanoLab high resolution Field Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscope (FEGSEM) with precise Focused Ion Beam(FIB) etching and (Pt) deposition capabilities for in-situ TEM sample preparation (Kleindieck nanomanipulator) and Ion beam Lithography.

Magnetic tweezers

  • The School of Physics houses a full 3D magnetic tweezer system capable of micro-rheology and single molecule force experiments, such as those used to probe molecular motors. The force range of the system is currently set at 1 to 100pN.


  • The nanoprobe comprises 4 individual STMs guided by a high resolution Gemini FEGSEM. By guiding the four STM tips with the SEM it is possible to form reversible, non-destructive electrical contacts to an individual nanostructure. The presence of four tips enables a variety of measurements to be performed including:
    • Two and Four probe measurements on nanowires/nanotubes
    • Gated two probe measurements using a third tip as a moveable gate electrode
  • 4 probe Van Der Pauw sheet resistance measurements on nanoscale sheet-like structures (eg. Graphene flakes). It has a liquid Helium flow cryostat allowing measurements to be taken from 25-450 K.

Electron beam lithography and cleanroom

  • Full access to both the state-of-the-art Jeol electron beam lithography system and nanotechnology cleanroom are available through LENNF.

X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy

  • The Escalab has a high intensity monochromated Al Kα source which can be focussed to a spot 120-600 μm in diameter on the sample. This allows for high resolution XPS with a high signal to noise ratio. XPS chemical maps of a sample with a 25 μm resolution can also be obtained.
  • VG Escalab 250: The instrument also has a high intensity UV source for Ultraviolet photoelectron Spectroscopy (UPS) and a FEGSEM for SEM imaging and Scanning Auger Microscopy.
  • A focussed argon ion miller can be used to etch the sample in order to perform depth profiling XPS experiments.

Can't find the technique you were looking for? There are other free access facilities funded by the EPSRC throughout the UK.

LENNF is funded by EPSRC Grant EP/F056311/1 and the University of Leeds.