Labs & Equipment



(Instituto de Nanociencia, Nanotecnología y Materiales Moleculares, Toledo)


Characterization laboratory:

This lab is equipped with a low temperature scanning probe microscopy setup for measurements with vectorial magnetic field provided by superconducting coils (up to 2T in the XY plane and 5T in out-of-plane configuration). Experiments can be made within the 4-300K temperature range by using a low vibrational setup of a closed circuit He-compressor.

The system allows to perform Atomic and Magnetic Force Microscopy (AFM/MFM), Scanning Hall Probe Microscopy (SHPM) as well as force and IV spectroscopy via tip-sample DC-Bias.

Both, MFM and SHPM, allows to get magnetic results at the nanoscale from two different approaches: by interacting with the magnetic moment of the sample, allowing magnetic configuration interaction (MFM), or the non-interacting mode, especially useful in soft-magnetic samples and magnetometry experiments (hysteresis loops), by measuring the sample’s stray-field (SHPM).

In addition, thanks to 8 extra custom channels, the setup can be used not only as a cryostat for electric measurements (Magnetoresistance, Hall and other magnetotransport-related measurements) with external field within the 4-300K but provides extended capabilities for simultaneous electrical measurements or electrical sample conditioning during the xFM/SHPM experiment.

Furthermore, the topographic and magnetic characterization can be performed by a Phywe/Nanosurf compact atomic force microscope with nanometer resolution.

A home-made magneto-optic magnetometer in reflection [vectorial Magneto-Optic Kerr-Effect (v-MOKE)] is available to carry out the magnetic measurements at different applied field angles. It allows us to study the longitudinal and transverse magnetization components. The applied magnetic field in the sample plane ranges ± 25 mT.

A magnetoresistance setup consists of the electromagnet, power supply, Hall probe and resistance measurement device, and allows us to study the magneto-resistive response in magnetic thin films and compacts of nanoparticles at room temperature. The electromagnet is powered by the Kepco bipolar operational power supply and the magnetic field ranges from 0 to 830 mT, for the minimum distance between poles (8 mm). The applied current to the sample is controlled by a Keithley current source which combined with a Keithley nanovolmeter measure the resistance. The control program was created by using the LabVIEW software package.


Synthesis laboratory:

This lab focuses on the synthesis of magnetic nanostructures, including thin films and horizontal nanowires, with specific interest on magnetic anisotropic systems. There are two vacuum deposition chambers to grow the nanostructures. One with 3 magnetron sputtering sources and a Kaufmann ion source of 1 keV, and other with DC and RF magnetron sputtering sources, a thermal evaporation source and a quartz crystal microbalance.


(Instituto Regional de Investigación Científica Aplicada, 
Ciudad Real)

The Applied Nanomagnetism lab at IRICA offers facilities for synthesis and characterization -structural, compositional and magnetic- of magnetic nanostructures.

These nanostructures can be synthesized in a  vacuum deposition chamber  with 2 sputtering magnetrons, a nanoparticles source, a rotatory sample holder mounted on a linear shift and a Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM). The particle source is operated with standard and hollow cathodes. The metal vapor condenses into nanoparticles in an aggregation chamber before reaching the main chamber as a beam through a nozzle. It is possible to control the particle size by changing the aggregation distance and by using a carrier gas (He).

Synthesis of nanoparticles at ambient pressure is also possible using a spark ablation source. By applying a given voltage (up to 1.35 kV and 10.4 mA of applied current) between two electrodes of the chosen materials, this source is able to produce nanoparticles which are carried away by a gas flow (e.g., Ar or N2). Thus, aerosols of different materials can be produced, even bimetallic systems. The nanoparticles can be deposited onto porous substrates or TEM grids for subsequent characterization using different accessories

spark ablation source

Magnetic characterization can be performed with a  Superconducting Quantum Interference Device magnetometer (SQUID)  with equipped with an EverCool He liquifier. The SQUID magnetometer allows the measurement of both ac and dc magnetic response as a function of temperature (from 2 K to 400 K), magnetic field (up to 5 Tesla) and, for the case of ac susceptibility, frequency of the driving field.

spark ablation source